A hopeless romantic encounters issues on consent, sexual assault, and stereotypes of East Asian women on her journey to find The One
Written and performed by Alissa Anne Jeun Yi
Delhi Belly, Underbelly, Cowgate, 2 – 26 Aug 2018 (not 15), 14.40 (15.40)
Through the autobiographical poems of a young British Chinese woman, Alissa Anne Jeun Yi explores the personal and political sides of our love lives, from awkward teenage crushes to navigating consent to the hyper-sexualisation of East Asian women. Mixing comedy, get-on-the-dance-floor music, rap and spoken word, Love Songs is a cautionary guidebook charting the highs and lows of the millennial dating scene, and a glimpse under the covers at our deepest desires and the all-consuming fear of ending up alone. Alissa is on a search for The One (as promised to her by countless stories and media), but her coming-of-age journey to date has been far from smooth.
Alissa Anne Jeun Yi said, “Love Songs simply started as a way to find closure from an personal experience of heartbreak and sexual assault, whilst empowering those with similar experiences by presenting an alternative, overall positive story that doesn’t portray people as ‘survivors’ or ‘victims’. I’ve grown a lot as both an artist and person since then – it has now snowballed into something much more than I expected, and I can’t wait to debut it in Edinburgh this year.
“Aside from feeling frustrated at the limited narratives about sexual assault I was seeing, I also began to realise that, as a Half-Chinese Half-British woman, there weren’t any well-rounded East Asian female characters in film, theatre and TV that I identified with. Love Songs isn’t just about how laughter can be used to heal pain. It’s a coming-of-age story with a wider focus on my journey to be comfortable and proud in my own skin, and encourage others to be too.”
Alissa Anne Jeun Yi is a writer, performer and theatre-maker based in Kent and East London. Most recently her work has been performed at Camden People’s Theatre (Calm Down, Dear Festival of Feminism), The Marlowe Theatre Studio, The Tristan Bates, The Arcola Theatre and the Brighton Fringe. She was a member of the Marlowe Theatre Playwrights and is a member of the Soho Writer’s Lab 2018 and the Soho Edinburgh Lab.
Established in 2017 by Alissa Anne Jeun Yi and Nikhil Vyas, Trip Hazards theatre company aims to innovatively stage fun, fresh and thought-provoking work for modern and diverse audiences. Their energetic, cross-disciplinary shows combine the autobiographical and the absurd, whilst finding creative ways to incorporate spoken word, live music, and rap into the telling of unheard stories.