History & Development
Our Man in Beijing has undergone many versions since Dr. Moni Storz first conceived the notion of writing it as an educational tool for teaching Chinese in Australia. She figured that her students at the Australasian Centre of Chinese Studies, which Moni founded in 1994 would have enjoyed their conversation sessions much more if they were reading a play. And she was right. They did. So much so that they performed the play to a packed audience in 2001, crammed into a church hall.
Eleven years later, a revised and longer version, was performed in the Australasian Chinese Theatre’s venue in Brighton and over 200 people came to see it. In 2012 Our Man in Beijing was performed at La Mama, the icon of independent theatre in Melbourne, beloved by many theatre goers. Famous Australian playwrights now such as David Williamson and Alexander Buzo had their first plays performed there long before they became established playwrights. Perhaps Our Man in Beijing, Moni’s first play, may also lead to the writing of other plays. As the saying goes, hope springs eternal ….
The story centres around an Australian junior manager, John Williams, who is given the opportunity to visit Beijing to sign a contract with a famous Chinese Cover Girl. He is convinced that this will accelerate his promotion in his advertising firm back in Melbourne. Instead, he finds many cross-cultural challenges for which he was ill prepared for. In the midst of being navigated through these dangerous waters by friends and foes alike, John falls in love. This monumental event escapes John until he finds himself applying for a spousal visa at the Australian High Commission in Beijing, much to his surprise. Our Man In Beijing is an inter-cultural love story that will make all laugh at the differences between Australian and Chinese cultures!