Actors Touring Company announces 2022 tour of Michele Lee’s Rice

Actors Touring Company (ATC) has announced a UK tour of Michele Lee’s play Rice for 2022.

A powerful drama written by award-winning Australian writer Michele Lee, Rice will be directed by Actors Touring Company’s Artistic Director Matthew Xia.

The tour will open Theatre Royal Plymouth on the 4 February until 12 February before heading on to Oxford’s North Wall before heading up North with performances at Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough; Sheffield’s Crucible Studio, Liverpool’s Unity Theatre, HOME in Manchester; Newcastle’s Northern Stage and ending on the main stage at the York Theatre Royal on the 13 and 14 April. Additional dates are expected to be confirmed shortly.

The tour follows a recent 5-week London run at The Orange Tree Theatre and marks ATC’s return to touring after almost two years due to the global pandemic.

Angela Yeoh and Anya Jaya-Murphy will star in the lead roles of Yvette, an older Chinese migrant cleaner and Nisha, a young hotshot Indian executive respectively.

The drama centres around a young hotshot executive working for Australia’s largest producer of rice, determined to become the first female Indian CEO in Australia and an older Chinese migrant, the office cleaner, who has her own entrepreneurial ambitions. The two form an unlikely bond as they navigate the complexities of their lives and the world at large.

Playwright Michele Lee, who has won numerous awards for Rice including the Australian Writer’s Guild Award for Best Original Stage Play said: “I’ve always wanted to centre a story around two strong female actors of colour and that was my starting point.

“In this play their characters traverse a range of identities and jump between and transform across many different roles. I feel exhilarated that this drama is being staged on opposite sides of the world and hope It’s universal themes around gender, ambition and friendship will resonate with audiences around the UK.”

Matthew Xia, ATC’s Artistic Director added: “It feels fantastic after this pandemic-enforced hiatus to finally be back touring shows again. I’m looking forward to introducing this dynamic and expansive drama, which stays true to ATC’s mission in bringing fresh dialogue and perspectives from different cultures and intersections, to audiences up and down the country.”

Picture: Rice – 2021 show at The Orange Tree Theatre. (Pic credit The Other Richard)

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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