An intriguing and evocative new video trailer for Yang-May Ooi’s memoir Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes [video]

We are delighted to unveil this new video trailer for Yang-May Ooi’s memoir, Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes. It features photos from the book as well as some from Yang-May’s personal photo albums which we hope evokes the mood and themes of this powerful family memoir.

 

 

Yang-May writes:

Writing a memoir isn’t an ego thing for me. Rather, it was a way to look back at my life – and also the lives of the women who came before me in my family – and to make sense of the challenges and heartache as well as remembering the joy and human connections that have made me the creative artist I am today.  I write my own story to transform the personal into the universal.  My hope is that readers will be inspired by the stories in Bound Feet Blues to look back at their own lives and find the moments, stories and people who can inspire *them* going forward.

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You can buy a copy of Bound Feet Blues from:

Amazon

or the publishers website at Urbane Publications

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Smashing stereotypical portrayals of East Asian women in books and theatre [video]

Yang-May Ooi, writer/ performer of Bound Feet Blues spoke at the launch of the Anglo Asiatic Arts & Heritage Alliance launch in April about “Tiger Spirit Women” – dynamic, intelligent, independent and fierce East Asian women who are the anti-thesis of the stereotypical portrayal of them in books and theatre in Western culture.

Yang-May says: “My creative work is dedicated to smashing the stereotype of the docile, passive China-doll like East Asian woman who exists solely in the domestic sphere and to portraying us as we really are – active agents taking our place in the world, capable, empowered and forces to be reckoned with.”

In her talk, she discusses her two novels, The Flame Tree and Mindgame, and Bound Feet Blues as well as her new theatre and book project Butterfly in Blue Jeans.

You can watch her whole talk in this video below (approx 8 mins):

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You can  BUY BOUND FEET BLUES, THE BOOK – please click on the links below:

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

URBANE PUBLICATIONS 

Doing the Unimaginable – Bound Feet Blues at the Oxford Literary Festival

Writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi will be featured at the Oxford Literary Festival in a solo event as part of the St Hilda’s Writers Day on Saturday 09 April. Yang-May will perform an extract from Bound Feet Blues and talk about Doing the Unimaginable – how and why women in China practiced the brutal process of footbinding on their daughters for a thousand years.

Yang-May writes:

I’m delighted to have been invited back to Oxford by my old college St Hilda’s as part of the Oxford Literary Festival. Bound Feet Blues opens in Oxford as I stroll across Magdalen Bridge from St Hilda’s to a summer ball with a gang of my friends in our ball gowns with our boyfriends in black tie. So it feels just perfect to be heading back to Oxford to talk about my show and the accompanying book of the same name.

Here’s some blurb:

The brutal practice of footbinding is unimaginable to us today but was the norm for women in ancient China. In her one woman show Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes, inspired by her great-grandmother who had bound feet, writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi explores what led those women to do the unimaginable in breaking and binding their daughters’ feet for the sake of beauty – and why footbinding is still relevant in modern times. In this talk for St Hilda’s Writers Day, she draws from the themes of love and courage in her theatre piece to discuss what it means to do the unimaginable as mothers, daughters and creative artists today. Yang-May will also be performing a short extract from the show.

There’ll also be the chance to buy a copy of the book – and I’ll of course be around to sign your personal copy.

Bound Feet Blues performance photo: Yang-May uses her hands on stage to demonstrate footbinding

If you’re in the Oxford area on Saturday 09 April, it would be lovely to see you at this one hour event. If you’d like to say hello afterwards, please do drop me a line and I’ll keep an eye out for you – or just come up and say “hi”.

If you know anyone in the Oxford area who might be interested to come along, please do tell them about the event. It would be great to see some warm and friendly faces in the crowd.

EVENT DETAILS:

Bound Feet Blues: Doing the Unimaginable – Yang-May Ooi

When: Saturday 09 April 2016, 12pm (1 hour)

Where: Jesus College, Oxford – Lecture Theatre

Tickets: £12

BUY TICKETS NOW

 

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If you can’t make it you can still Continue reading

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.

eastdulwichwi

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

How Yang-May Ooi’s great grandmother with bound feet inspired Bound Feet Blues [video]

In the  video below, writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi tells the story of her great-grandmother that inspired her to write Bound Feet Blues.

Yang-May writes:

The show was only one hour long so I made certain artistic choices in portraying my great-grandmother in the theatre performance. Her story is incomplete in the show because I wanted the audience to stay with the moment of transformation rather than seeing how her story ends.

The book of Bound Feet Blues takes great-grandma’s story and extends and deepens it at the more leisurely pace that a long read can offer. So for those of you who Continue reading

Last chance EVER to see Bound Feet Blues this week

As we enter the last week of Bound Feet Blues, this is your last chance EVER to catch the show. Writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi has no plans to take the show on tour or revive it in the future as she will be moving on to other creative projects once the show ends.

There’ve been several SOLD OUT nights and people have been queuing for returns for previous shows. The last night 12 December is almost sold out.

If you haven’t already seen this astonishing show, make sure you get your tickets NOW to the last few performances this week – extra availability on Thurs 10th and Fri 11 December.

** Bound Feet Blues is NOW ON  at the Tristan Bates Theatre until Sat 12 December 2015. Don’t miss this “mesmerising” and “powerful” show – buy tickets below or via bit.ly/bfbtickets **

Don’t take our word for it – here is what some audiences last week have said about Bound Feet Blues:

Stirring, thought provoking, informative, deeply moving, sprinkled with touches of humour this performance is well worth seeing!”
“A great performance … Brilliant!”
“Spent a wonderful evening seeing Yang-May’s stunning show Bound Feet Blues, a solo show about identity and the many paths and footsteps that lead to that identity. Utterly spellbinding and moving, I left feel completely inspired and empowered. Can’t recommend this enough!”

 

 

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BUY TICKETS

**You can buy tickets for Bound Feet Blues via bit.ly/bfbtickets **

DETAILS

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.

**BUY ONLINE via: bit.ly/bfbtickets **

Yang-May Ooi talks toes, feet – and bras! – with Jo Good on BBC London #BoundFeetBlues

Writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi returned to the BBC London Studio again to talk with Jo Good, one year on from her previous appearance on Jo’s show. Their conversation takes in Yang-May’s versatile toes, bras and the psychology behind the brutal practice of footbinding as depicted in Bound Feet Blues.

** Bound Feet Blues is NOW ON  at the Tristan Bates Theatre until Sat 12 December 2015. Don’t miss this “mesmerising” and “powerful” show – buy tickets below or via bit.ly/bfbtickets **

You can listen again by clicking on the image below:

jogoodcomposite

OR via this link

Yang-May Ooi with Jo Good, BBC London 27 Nov 2015

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BUY TICKETS

**You can buy tickets for Bound Feet Blues via bit.ly/bfbtickets **

DETAILS

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.

**BUY ONLINE via: bit.ly/bfbtickets **

 

Meet Bound Feet Blues Q&A Chair, Betty Yao (8th December 2015)

There are a series of 3 Q&A sessions during the 3 week run of Bound Feet Blues. One of them – on Tue 8th December 2015 – will be chaired by China consultant and curator, Betty Yao. We are super thrilled that she is taking part in that particular evening – the  Pan Asian Womens’ Association (PAWA) have bought up the whole theatre for a special outing for their members.

** Bound Feet Blues is NOW ON  at the Tristan Bates Theatre until Sat 12 December 2015. Don’t miss this “mesmerising” and “powerful” show – buy tickets below or via bit.ly/bfbtickets **

 Betty Yao, MBE

A sharp eye on everyday ChinaBetty is the Director of Credential International Arts Management, a consultancy providing project management expertise to organisations in the UK and China.  She has organised the Wellcome Library exhibition China: Through the Lens of John Thomson 1868 -1872 which has toured to 17 cities in China, Europe, US and seen by nearly 900,000 visitors.   

The evening is sold out but you can get tickets via PAWA as part of their charity theatre outing.

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You can buy tickets for Bound Feet Blues on other nights during its 3 week run via bit.ly/bfbtickets

DETAILS

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.

 

“Mum, tell us a story!” – Bound Feet Blues Performance Photo

Bound Feet Blues evolved from stories that were told to writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi by the women in her family. In this scene, Yang-May portrays an evening at home in Malaysia when she was an 8-year old child, running into her parents bedroom with her brother and sister, and asking her mother to tell them a story: “Mum, tell us a story!”.

** Bound Feet Blues is NOW ON  at the Tristan Bates Theatre until Sat 12 December 2015. Don’t miss this “mesmerising” and “powerful” show – buy tickets below or via bit.ly/bfbtickets **

 

The photo is from the Oct 2014 showcase performance.

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BUY TICKETS

**You can buy tickets for Bound Feet Blues via bit.ly/bfbtickets **

DETAILS

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.

**BUY ONLINE via: bit.ly/bfbtickets **

Meet Bound Feet Blues Q&A Chair Rona Steinberg (4th December 2015)

Bound Feet Blues will have 3 Q&A sessions after the show during its three week run. We are delighted to introduce you to Rona Steinberg, the chair of the Q&A session on Friday 4th December 2015.

** Bound Feet Blues is NOW ON  at the Tristan Bates Theatre until Sat 12 December 2015. Don’t miss this “mesmerising” and “powerful” show – buy tickets below or via bit.ly/bfbtickets **

Rona Steinberg

rona steinberg public speaking coachRona is a Certified Professional Co-active Coach at Out Loud Coaching working with women who want to throw off the shackles of a society that expects them to be “quiet, nice, demure, discreet, good, self effacing, modest or mild” and “women who don’t think they are good enough or beautiful enough or thin enough or intelligent enough or young enough or old enough or sexy enough or any other enough – or who have been told that by others”.

Her philosophy is: “Be powerful, true and joyful. Live your life the way you want. No more being told to stay in the background or hiding your true nature, desire or mess. Just be yourself, without apology or justification.”

Our kind of woman!

She is also a public speaking trainer with Ginger Public Speaking.  Her background in the legal profession gives her an incisive intellect that gets to the heart of the matter while her coaching training and natural intuitive approach allows her to respond with authenticity in the moment.

We are in for a treat on 4th December – so come and join the conversation, take part in the Q&A and be prepared for a meaty discussion about the creative process as well as women’s empowerment, body image, footbinding and the other themes of the show!

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BUY TICKETS

**You can buy tickets for Bound Feet Blues via bit.ly/bfbtickets **

DETAILS

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.

**BUY ONLINE via: bit.ly/bfbtickets **