Behind the scenes with Shuwei Shi

We interviewed the cast and crew of Another Life to offer a sneak peek into the characters, the writing process and more.

Shuwei Shi plays Vivian Tsang, a mother suddenly faced with a dilemma she never thought she-d have to face.

Why did you decide to audition for this role?

For me, being able to be part of a performance has been valuable, fun and challenging; and a chance for me to experience another person’s life. Besides, Another Life 另生 is a play that discusses the stories of Chinese people living in the UK.

As a Chinese student currently studying in the UK, I am very honoured and excited to have the chance to tell the story of a character who has a similar cultural background, but a completely different experience from my own.

Tell us a bit more about your character?

I will be playing Vivian, a middle-aged woman born and raised in the UK by Chinese parents. She is currently living in the UK with her husband and two children. By watching the performance, you-ll learn more about Vivian’s struggles, the changes she goes through and the inspiration behind her mixed-culture experience.

What was your first impression of the script?

I was curious about how we are going to perform the play, because it contains different performance forms such as monologue, dialogue and some movement. I was very excited to work on the play with the others.

How did you feel about performing in a play that is based on real-life testimonies?

I was quite nervous when I first found out that the play is based on real experiences, because I was afraid that I may not be able to deliver the true thought behind my character. However, as the rehearsals began, I enjoyed playing the character as I could interpret it with my own understanding.

Besides, since it is based on real life testimonies, it also encouraged me to think and discover more about the character, which really helped me better understand them.

Who would you like to see in the audience and what would you like them to take away from the experience (without revealing any spoilers!)?

I would like to see the audience being surprised by the way we tell the stories of the different characters.

Instead of having each character perform their monologue alone on stage, we have diverse performances to illustrate their storylines. I would also like to see the audience being curious about the ongoing stories of each character after watching the show.

Is there a particular scene in the play that really excited you? If yes, why?

I am very excited about the scene that tells the story of Vivian’s parents. It is a short scene with no words but full of complicated emotions.

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself?

I played the role of Snow White in a kindergarten performance when I had my first kiss!

What should people who enjoyed this play and are interested in Chinese culture see next? Any plays or films you would recommend?

Films: Dying to Survive, Big Fish & Begonia, Farewell My Concubine
Dance drama: The Eternal Wave
Reality show: China in the Classics (典籍里的中oe)