Same Same Different
Written by Naomi Sumner Chan
Directed by Alyx Tole
Commissioned by Eclipse Theatre in partnership with York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre
York Theatre Royal Studio, 26 and 27 April, 7.45pm
Same Same Different is an original and affecting new verbatim play about adoption, identity and belonging that gives adoptees from all over the world the chance to share their adoption story in their own words. It will be at York Theatre Royal Studio on 26 and 27 April at 7.45pm.
Inspired by writer Naomi Sumner Chan’s own experience of being adopted from Hong Kong into a White British family, the play invites the audience to join Naomi in exploring her personal and cultural identity. She connects with many other adopted families and individuals, whom we meet along the way, with a diverse ensemble of actors presenting the many different voices, identities and experiences that Naomi encounters.
She says: “As a Trans-racial adoptee myself, I wanted to create a piece of work that prioritised the adoptee voice and put that front and centre. Often adoption narratives are Adoptive Parent centric and focus on the parent’s story or the process of adoption. This play is different as it provides adopted children and adults the opportunity to tell their own stories in their own words. The focus is on day-to-day family life and dynamics in their adoptive family, and their sense of place and self rather than the adoption process. The aim is for adoptees to speak honestly and explode some of the myths and misconceptions around adoption. I hope the play will be helpful for adoptive families who may be struggling with bonding and cohesion to feel less alone, by knowing other people are going through or have experienced similar situations.”
By focusing on what adoptees perceive as the similarities and differences between themselves and their family members, Naomi asks: does nature or nurture most influence a person’s identity? A question that ultimately leads her back to her own sense of self and where she feels she belongs.
Commissioned by Eclipse through their SLATE programme – designed to promote and develop work by BAME artists in the UK – the play has been developed in partnership with York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre. This North of England tour is also made possible through support from Arts Council England and The Unity Theatre Trust.