Debuting as a part of Belvior St. Theatre’s 25A development program, Skyduck: A Chinese Spy Comedy is a wonderfully joyous, upbeat and ludicrous. Featuring many a karaoke sing-alongs to dramatic heart songs, this is a piece of theatre that is easy to follow and infatuating. Sam Wang is bubbly and energetic constantly during the show and has a charismatic goofiness that makes the experience fun and cathartic. Making light of clichéd portrayals of the Chinese, American and Australian identities, the show is simply hilarious. I even cried a tear of laughter during a cheesy ballad about the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The show pays tribute to many iconic action blockbusters that rely on cliché characters (the American hero, the Chinese spies and the loud Australian side character), referencing often ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Die Hard’. There are explosions, love affairs and tables that get turned in a story that circles around military intrigue and weapons of mass destruction. Skyduck parodies the nonsensical drama of these films while also mashing together a number of memorable action movie moments and living the fantasy of our favourite movie stars.
Much of the dialogue is spoken by Sam Wang in Chinese and is aided with projected subtitles, making for a transporting and memorable experience. I enjoyed hearing a joke in a language I didn’t understand and being able to laugh just as easily.
Skyduck: A Chinese Spy Comedy is playful in nature, making us let go of the weight of our lives and imbibe in cathartic laughter. Its triumph goes to show to emerging artists that work doesn’t have to be serious in nature to be taken seriously. Seeing the fun that the cast and crew had in making the work the work shine through made for an engaging and memorably different experience.
On 11-20 of July at Belviour St Theatre https://belvoir.com.au/25a/skyduck-a-chinese-spy-comedy/
Writer, Video and Props Sam Wang Director
Tech & Ops (AV) Aileen Huynh
Producer Pierce Wilcox
Lighting Design Kelsey Lee
Original Music by Tauese Tofa, Reveal Music Pty Ltd
Stagehand, Tech & Ops (Surtitles) Lap Nguyen