New Earth Theatre and Storyhouse, in association with Arcola Theatre, today announce the full cast for the world première production of WORTH, a new darkly comic drama exploring immigration and family secrets from Chinese Canadian writer, Joanne Lau. Mingyu Lin directs Arthur Lee (Jacob) and Jennifer Lim (Penny), Stephen Hoo (Ted), Sara Chia-Jewell (May), Zachary Hing (Anthony).
WORTH confronts the truth of generational trauma in immigrant families, inspired by true events. The production opens at Arcola Theatre on 12 April, with previews from 7 April, and runs until 29 April, before transferring to Chester’s Storyhouse, playing from 5 to 20 May.
New Earth Theatre and Storyhouse in association with Arcola Theatre present
Written by Joanne Lau
Director: Mingyu Lin; Assistant Director: Rosa Escoda; Designer: Moi Tran;
Design Assistant: Mona Camille; Lighting Designer: Jai Morjaria;
Sound Designer and Composer: Nicola T Chang; Sound Associate: Murong Li;
Movement Director: Iskandar Sharazuddin; Deputy Stage Manager: Alexandra Kataigida;
Assistant Stage Manager: Jess Senanayake; Assistant Stage Manager (London): Rose Hockaday
Arcola Theatre: 7 April – 29 April 2023
Press night: Wednesday 12 April at 7pm
Storyhouse: 5 – 20 May 2023
Hours before their mother’s funeral, the Yeung siblings gather in the family home for the first time in years, only to discover their inheritance is missing. With seemingly only £44 cash to her name and the house due to be repossessed, where has all the money gone? Tensions escalate as they race to find it, uncovering ugly truths and shocking family secrets along the way.
Inspired by true events, WORTH takes a darkly comic look at family loss and sibling rivalry. Straddling two cultures, this biting new comedy asks the question – where do you put your worth?
Arthur Lee plays Jacob. His theatre credits include The King and I (London Palladium), The Handmaiden (Secret Cinema) and DiaoChan: The Rise of the Courtesan (Arts Theatre/UK tour). For television, his credits include Moonhaven, Doctor Who, White Dragon, Lucky Man, Strike Back and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret; and for film, The Batman, Greta and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Jennifer Lim plays Penny. Her recent theatre credits include The Key Workers Cycle – The Midwives’ Play (Almeida Theatre), Dreamers (Omnibus Theatre), Freedom Hi! (VAULT Festival), Into the Numbers (Finborough theatre), Citizens of Nowhere (Southbank Centre/Edinburgh Festival Fringe), World Factory (HOME Manchester) and Wild Swans (Young Vic/American Repertory Theater). For television, her credits include Jade Dragon and When Evil Calls; and for film: I’m Not In Love, A Monster Calls, Womb, Act of Grace and Hostel. She is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Moongate where she has produced The Fu Manchu Complex (Ovalhouse Theatre), Forgotten (in co-production with New Earth Theatre, Arcola Theatre and Theatre Royal Plymouth) and WeRNotVirus (in co-production with Omnibus Theatre).
Stephen Hoo plays Ted. His theatre credits include Beauty and the Beast (Oxford Playhouse), Rapunzel, Take Away, Cinderella (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Running Wild (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Sugar Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie (Arcola Theatre), Heartquake (Royal Court Theatre), Tasting Notes (Southwark Playhouse), Soho Streets (Soho Theatre), Bodega Lung-fat (Hackney Empire) and Kick Off (Riverside Studios). For television, his credits include Hollyoaks (as series regular Dr. Lewis), Jade Dragon and Pini; and for film, Fit, Kick Off, Bashment and Seven Dials.
Sara Chia-Jewell plays May. They were part of the 2022 New Earth Performers Academy and this marks their professional stage debut. Their theatre credits include Caliph (VAULT Festival), The Object Marriage (V&A), Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart (Edinburgh Festival Fringe) and Her Body is a Minefield (White Bear Theatre). For television, their credits include The Royals and Darren Has a Breakdown; and for film, Lockerbilly, Shopping Channels and Cassette.
Zachary Hing plays Anthony. Their theatre credits include My Neighbour Totoro (RSC/Barbican), Living Newspaper, Pah-La (Royal Court Theatre), Them! (National Theatre of Scotland), Forgotten (Arcola Theatre/Theatre Royal Plymouth), Why is the Sky Blue? (Southwark Playhouse) and Jubilee (Lyric Hammersmith/Royal Exchange Theatre). For television, their credits include Halo; and for film, Hellraiser.
Joanne Lau is a Chinese Canadian writer based in the UK, and an alumnus of the BBC Writersroom Comedy Room and BBC New Talent Hotlist 2017. She’s been a finalist for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum (TV Drama), Royal Court Theatre/Kudos Writing Fellowship, Cinequest Teleplay 60, and Funny Women Awards. She has several original projects in development and her produced credits span television, theatre, radio, and film, and include Silverpoint (CBBC), Theodosia (HBO Max), Ted’s Top Ten (CTIV), Big Tree City (Netflix), The Kentucky Meat Shower (Sphinx 30/New Earth Theatre), Love by Numbers (Routledge Anthology of Short Plays with Great Roles for Women), Drop the Dead Panda (BBC Radio 4), Sketchtopia (BBC Radio 4), and Misguided Meditations (BBC Radio 4).
Mingyu Lin is a director for stage and screen. She is a Resident Artist with York Theatre Royal and a Reader for Traverse Theatre and the Bruntwood Prize. She was a recipient of Living Pictures’ Directors’ bursary 2021, Creative Associate at Headlong, an alumna of the Royal Court Writers’ Programme and a founding member of BESEA advocacy group BEATS. Her theatre credits include Does My Bomb Look Big in This? (Soho Theatre), Overheard (York Theatre Royal/Nottingham Lakeside) and No Bond So Strong (Midlands Arts Centre). She also works as a screen director and audio director.