Bound feet and what it means to be a woman – The Women’s Institute, East Dulwich 03 February 2016

Writer/ performer of Bound Feet Blues, Yang-May Ooi, will be speaking about bound feet and what it means to be a woman at the WI (Women’s Institute) East Dulwich SE22 on Wednesday 03 February 2016.


Yang-May writes:

I’m delighted to have been invited to speak at the WI at the Literary Evening with Local Authors. Here’s the line up for the evening;

Lloyd Shepherd is an author of three historical thrillers, The English Monster, The Polished Island and Savage Magic.  He will be speaking to us about his latest book, Savage Magic.

Yang-May Ooi will be presenting on her newest book, Bound Feet Blues which is a story told through the shoes she has worn in her life. Yang-May is also author of the best selling novel, the Flame Tree.

Rebecca Mackenzie will be reading an excerpt from her debut novel, In a Land of Paper Gods.

Harry from Dulwich Books will also be joining us with the above mentioned authors books as well as a selection of their top picks.

I’ll be talking about why bound feet are still relevant to us today as modern women in the West and how feet and shoes can invite us to think about what it means to be a woman.

bound foot in chinese slipper


normal foot in high heels


I’m also looking forward to meeting the WI members and hearing the other authors talk about their books. It’s going to be a fascinating evening.

It’s a private WI event – if you’rea member it would be lovely to see you there. If not, you can enquire Continue reading


Yang-May Ooi, writer and performer of Bound Feet Blues, reveals her secret to Fearless Public Speaking

How did an introverted writer who used to hate public speaking find the courage to take to the West End stage in her own solo theatre show? Yang-May Ooi, writer and performer of Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes, reveals on the Ginger Public Speaking blog her fearlessness secret to supercharge your confidence as a public speaker.

Click on the image below to read the full article on the Ginger Public Speaking blog….

ginger screenshot

Ginger Public Speaking is a public speaking coaching company founded by Sarah Lloyd-Hughes, a popular speaker on confidence and inspiration and an award winning social entrepreneur, whom I am honoured to call a friend.

Featured in the TEDx series of public speeches, Sarah is an energetic, original and deeply authentic speaker who works with professionals and entrepreneurs to help them communicate with courage. She has successfully taught thousands of people across three continents. As a speaker on confidence, Sarah builds inspiration in her audiences, whatever their experience levels. She challenges and supports them on the journey to become passionate, authentic and inspiring communicators.


You can buy tickets for Bound Feet Blues via


Tristan Bates Theatre
1A Tower St, Covent Garden WC2H 9NP

Tue 24 Nov – Sat 12 Dec, Tue – Sat at 7.30pm.
Tickets £16 / £12 concessions.
Q&As post-show, 27 Nov & 4 Dec.

Learn How To Magnify Your Stage Presence to Supercharge Your Public Speaking

Are your nerves letting you down when you have to give a presentation? Is your delivery getting in the way of the othewise powerful message you want to convey to your audience?

If you want to learn the secrets of commanding a full theatre – and have fun, too, along the way – come to the storytelling and perfomance masterclass Own Your Story, Own the Room on Sat 16 May 2015 in Central London.

I’ll be sharing what I learnt from performing my solo show Bound Feet Blues to a sold-out West End theatre so you can take home with you tools to:

# dominate any stage you may be invited to speak on

# welcome and accept the gaze of your audience

# connect warmly with your audience

In Bound Feet Blues, I stand alone on stage for one hour to deliver a dramatised story, playing all the different characters and taking the audience to settings from Oxford, to ancient China and Australia and Malaysia – all without any costumes, props, scenery/ backdrops or music and performed barefoot. The success of the piece depends entirely on me. I must command the stage and hold the attention of the audience for a full 60 minutes. The showcase performance in Oct last year received 4+ Star reviews and one reviewer said of the piece, “a deeply personal and heartfelt performance… I felt the eyes of the audience follow Ooi unblinkingly until the end.”

Do you want to know how you can command the stage like this, too? The masterclass on 16 May could be for you. It will include theatre games that I have devised that will give you experiential learning – one of the best ways to capture performance mastery to magnify your stage presence.

My colleague, Beverley Glick, an award-winning speaker and well-respected journalist, is co-facilitating the masterclass and we will also be guiding participants through how to find the inspiring personal stories in their lives. You will discover how to Continue reading


Award-winning speaker and “story archaelogist” Beverley Glick to chair Bound Feet Blues Q&A

I am thrilled that the brilliant Beverley Glick has agreed to chair the Q&A after the showcase performance of Bound Feet Blues on Mon 13 Oct at the Tristan Bates Theatre.

Beverley is an award-winning speaker and “story archaeologist” who works with individuals and businesses to find their authentic stories. She is the co-founder of the cult storytelling club The Story Party where I started my storytelling adventure that led me to create Bound Feet Blues.


Photo by Rita Abreu


I got to know Beverley a couple of years ago from a public speaking course we both took part in and since then, I’ve seen her working with Continue reading


Imagine a grown woman with baby feet

It’s difficult for us in the modern world to imagine how small bound feet were. Whenever I say to people that some of the smallest bound feet were only 3 inches long, they register that that is small but it’s only when they see exactly how small 3 inches is, that the horror of it hits them.

In order to illustrate how tiny bound feet were for “Breaking Tradition”, my award-winning talk inspired by the stories in Bound Feet Blues, I went online to order a pair of baby shoes. I searched and searched for baby shoes that were 3 inches long but the smallest size that I could find came to just over 4 inches.

The photo above shows me holding those 4+ inch baby shoes during Continue reading


Come and see my TEDx style talk inspired by Bound Feet Blues – Breaking Tradition: How to Live Unbound

I will be giving a TEDx style talk inspired by my research for my solo show Bound Feet Blues at the Inspiring Speakers Gala on Wed 9th July. The talk is called Breaking Tradition: How to Live Unbound and looks at the life lessons that I learnt from exploring the story of my great gandmother who had bound feet.

Yang-May Ooi talking about bound feet – her left hand stands in for a crippled bound foot

If you enjoyed the work in progress performance of Bound Feet Blues on 26 March, my talk will look behind the show at my personal crisis that led me to find out the story of my family heritage. I also talk about the life lessons that I was able to draw from the courage and spirit I saw in my great grandmother who was able to transcend the brutal limitation imposed on her by her cultural tradition.

If you haven’t managed to see the show but would like to get a flavour of what is in store when the full length performance of Bound Feet Blues is showcased later this year, Breaking Tradition will give you a feel for what lies ahead. Someone who saw me do a snippet of the talk said: “I feel as if I’ve just seen a feature film in 4 minutes!”

The Inspiring Speakers Programme - Gala Finale July 9th 2014

I’ll be giving this talk as part of … Continue reading