Chain Play Review


What happens when you get 12 playwrights to collaborate on the same script without them knowing what had previously happened? Led by Tiffany Wong, Chain Play is a playful experiment on what the limitations of theatre and writing can, and should, be.

Brendon Chhor, Teddy Jameison, and Michelle Masefield in Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way, 2022. Photo by Aaron Cornelius ©

Two short plays Where’s There’s A Will, There’s A Way. and How Asian Are You? were created by 12 playwrights who wrote the scripts one scene at a time. The twist is – each writer had only read the scene before theirs, and not the rest of the script.

Directed by Katie Ord, Where’s There’s A Will, There’s A Way was a chaotic, occasionally cluttered, yet ultimately joyful short play. The story followed two aged care workers who accidentally found the will of a deceased resident. What followed suit was a comedy full of big characters, pop culture references, and comedic storylines. Susan Ling Young and Stef Chang were a delight to watch on stage. They both brought a fantastic feeling of fun and humour to the show, all while staying believable in their roles.

Susan Huang, Linda Chong and Spencer Monro in How Asian Are You?, 2022. Photo by Aaron Cornelius ©

The second show How Asian Are You? was a hilarious, spontaneous, and thought-provoking piece on the internalised racism every person has, regardless of their own ethnicity. Director Sammy Jing creatively brought together a segmented script and made something cohesive, memorable, and enjoyable. Sound designer Sam Cheng created a perfectly fitting soundtrack that complemented and electrified each scene. The entire cast was skilled in comic timing and stage presence. Cheng Tang, who played a director after a sudden plot twist of events, was absolutely uproarious in his role. He transformed the theatre to be his spotlight and generated buckets of laughs from the audience. His physicality and strong sense of play were great factors as to what made him so very fun to watch.

Have you ever played that folded paper drawing game with friends? The one where you draw something without knowing what had been drawn previously? Well, that game is exactly how Chain Play felt. It wasn’t exactly the greatest work of art ever made, and it didn’t always make sense, but it was a show full of laughs and joy. It felt like sitting with friends and laughing at the absurdity of what you all created. It felt like being a part of something that was created with warmth, love, and sincerity. And, in a way, the mayhem of it all was what made it so much fun.

3.5 Stars.

Astra, 16, [she/her]

Slanted Theatre’s Chain Play played at Flightpath Theatre from the 21st until the 24th of September.