Why don’t more people go to the theatre? Because there aren’t enough explosions.
Skyduck: A Chinese Spy Comedy is about to change that.
“The show is an attempt to answer the eternal question of life: how do you do a Hollywood-level aerial dogfight live on stage?” says creator and star Sam Wang.
“The show is a love letter to the over-the-top action movies I grew up with, in a wild East meets West mash-up that celebrates everything theatre can achieve. And some things it can’t.”
In 1993, China launches Operation Skyduck, and Captain Yan and Agent Chang are sent to steal America’s most prized flight simulation software.
After launching an audacious hack into the Royal Australian Aerobatic Squadron, they find themselves trapped by a hotshot NSA agent, Commander Kendrick. His plan? To destroy China’s military ambition once and for all … through Inception.
Wang performs the Chinese heroes in Mandarin, bringing the world’s most spoken language to the Belvoir Downstairs stage.
“I’ve never seen a show that used Mandarin this much, and not just as a plot device but as something that’s celebrated,” says Wang. “So I decided to write one. And it’s inclusive: if you’re an English speaker the surtitles have a different and unique joke to what Mandarin speakers will hear.”
Alongside the comedy, Skyduck: A Chinese Spy Comedy offers a positive story of representation. Two other Asian-Australian performers, Aileen Huynh and Lap Nguyen, form the core creative team.
“This is a show that comes from people who have grown up with Asian parents and that heritage, but also with Hollywood movies and pop music, and fuses those influences together in a way that feels utterly authentic to our younger generation,” says Huynh.
“That’s what Skyduck does: it takes all the things we love and straps them to an exploding firework.”