In January 2014 we filmed at The Story Party, London, a regular soiree created by Beverley Glick and Mary Ann Mhina. Yang May Ooi has kindly agreed to us sharing her story.
Yang May Ooi is a writer and storytelling performer. She is currently performing her one woman show Bound Feet Blues at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London. At The Story Party her story Goldilocks Weather was apt for the theme – A Winter’s Tale
Malaysian by birth, Yang May came to live in the UK as a young girl. Educated at Oxford University, she worked as a corporate lawyer. That’s until her true calling as an author and storyteller emerged.
Bound Feet Blues is entertaining. However it’s though-provoking too. Yang May interlaces stories from her life with the history of bound feet in China. She invites the audience to imagine being a woman with bound feet. She shares stories passed down from her mother, grandmother and great grandmother. The story’s epic with canvas is interwoven with themes that invite us to challenge binding cultural narratives.
Foot binding was done to make women more attractive to men. We may think it bizarre. But we’ve come to accept cosmetic enhancement as normal. The foot binding belief was passed from mother to daughter with loving intentions. That’s despite the pain and damage being inflicting. Sound familiar?
Most advertising stories tell us that we’re not okay. No! We need certain products to make us acceptable. And it not just women. It’s everybody. You need longer-lashes, better abs, a faster car or a new perfume. Advertising is a benign tool until it’s armed to shoot-down your self-esteem. And it only works when you buy into it.
Yang May is currently performing Bound Fleet Blues She gave truncated 45 minute version in London at the end of March 2014 to the most amazing accolades such as…
“Mesmerising”; “I needed to remind myself to breathe”; “I was gasping for breath”.
If can get a flavor of Yang May’s storytelling style by clicking on the video above of Goldilocks Weather.
Yang May’s website is www.storyguru.co.uk