Writer’s Note: Vanessa Bates, THE ONE

7 Jul 2022

‘Writer’s notes’ are funny things; part memoir, part confession, part joyous outburst: yay, it’s a play! With an audience! In a pandemic!

Two Eurasian siblings, Mel and Eric, Malaysian and Australian, feeling both and neither. Mel’s memory of childhood is not the same as Eric’s even though they are siblings who experienced similar childhood upbringings. Penang of the past seems a magical place; Mel faced a baby cobra, Eric thinks he remembers a shop full of paper clothes, they both remember the incense smoke. But the past is a tricky thing and opening the door ushers in early memories of Australia too, ballroom dancing trophies yes but also a family fracturing, casual and not so casual racism, bullying and abuse.

THE ONE is a story of being Asian Australian, we people who occupy the liminal space, with one foot rooted heavily here in Australia and the other delicately poised across an ocean. Blending identity, culture and family make a potent soup, and so it is for all with our feet in two worlds, tasting ‘chunks neither chicken nor corn’.

–  Vanessa Bates

Energetically funny and affectionately provocative, don’t miss brand new comedy THE ONE. Playing 22 Jul – 27 Aug.