A storm rages. Thunder cracks, the wind a mournful howl, rain falls and waves crash. The wooden boat bucks and heaves. Yong holds on tight. He looks up at the moon and thinks of home.
Set against the backdrop of the Australian Goldrush of 1857, Yong is a new Australian play by Jenevieve Chang. Mixing historical fact and narrative fiction, Yong takes us on a journey across land and sea, from China to the goldfields of Australia.
Yong and his father leave their small village and travel across the seas hoping to strike gold and find their fortune in the goldfields of Ballarat. However, despite his family’s desperate need for money, Yong does not want to be on this journey. On the surface, he is an honourable son, but bubbling below is deepening resentment for his father and a longing for home. Faced with momentous change, Yong’s courage and inner strength are tested, and in overcoming difficult challenges, he discovers a resilience in himself that he never knew he had.
The production Yong is based on the book, Yong: the journey of an unworthy son by Janeen Brian.
“Yong is a universally resonant story about a young boy who must learn to step out of the shadow of other people’s expectations to find himself. It is about what it means to be a son, what it takes to be a parent, and the push and pull of community. Most of all, it shines a light on Australia’s history, bringing focus to sacrifices and contributions which have helped build the resilient nation we are today.”
— Jenevieve Chang, Writer