APRIL 2023 | Volume 226


Production image

Credit Pedro Augusto Meza.

Happy Valley
by Derek Chan
rice & beans theatre
Firehall Arts Centre
May 25-JUne 4
From $25 or 604-689-0926

Firehall Arts Centre Presents the World Premiere of rice & beans theatre's Happy Valley

The Firehall closes its 2022-23 season with the world premiere of rice & beans theatre's Happy Valley from Thursday, May 25 to Sunday, June 4.

Conceived and performed by Sydney Risk Award-winning playwright Derek Chan 陳嘉, Happy Valley is a solo, interdisciplinary performance. Through text, song, multimedia and music, Happy Valley is a new performance piece that dissects the historical, political, and cultural contexts surrounding Hong Kong's current democratic struggles. Named after the historic race course that hosted the (in)famous Concert for Democracy in China back in 1989, almost exactly one week before the Tiananmen Massacre, Happy Valley is a follow-up to Derek Chan's 2021 yellow objects theatrical installation at the Firehall Arts Centre.

Mainland China promised Hong Kong a high level of autonomy and the right to self-determination back in the '80s, in preparation for the 1997 Handover from British colonization. It has been almost 25 years since Chris Patten and his family tearfully waved Hong Kong goodbye at Victoria Harbour. It has been 3 years since the first yellow raincoat drifted from the sky at Pacific Place. And it has been never since the people of Hong Kong had any agency over their fate. Fast forward to 2023: everything that has happened since is in danger of having never happened at all. To us, democracy is a luxury.

Happy Valley remembers everything. But what will you remember of Hong Kong in 50 years? Meet 'Uncle Chan'. Will he ever be able to go home? In English, Cantonese, and memoriam. He'll give that a go.

*Credits for Happy Valley:

Playwright & Performer:  Derek Chan 陳嘉昊
Director:  Anjela Magpantay
Dramaturg:  Heidi Taylor
Set/Props/Costume Designer:  Megan Lane
Video Designer:  Andie Lloyd
Lighting Designer:  Jonathan Kim 
Sound Design:  Sapphire Haze
Understudy:  Angus Yam
Stage Manager:  Anonymous
Production Manager:  Pleasant Clearing
Technical Director:  Anonymous

*Although this production is taking place and was created in Canada, there are some artists living in our country who are self-censoring their work and themselves because of what is going on in China. For this reason, these artists have chosen to use pseudonyms or remain anonymous.
May 25 – June 4 | Firehall Arts Centre| 280 E. Cordova

Opening Night:  Saturday, May 27 at 7:30pm

Previews:  Thursday, May 25 & Friday, May 26 at 7:30pm

Performance Times:  Tuesday-Saturday, 7:30pm | Saturday & Sunday, 3:00pm | PWYC on Tuesday at 7:30pm & Wednesday at 1:00pm

Tickets:  From $25 at | 604.689.0926

Post Show Talkbacks:  Thursday, June 1st

For more information on The Firehall, please visit the following platforms:


About rice & beans theatre:
rice & beans theatre is a Vancouver-based theatre company founded in 2010 by Pedro Chamale and Derek Chan. We provide a platform for the creation, development and production of boundary-pushing theatre by artists of colour or otherwise marginalized theatre-makers, as well as support to fellow artists by providing dramaturgy, direction, and mentorship. We are dedicated to facilitating original Canadian work that is accessible, honest, uncompromising and personal. In addition to Vancouver, we have also produced original work for audiences in Toronto, Richmond, Nanaimo and Victoria. In 2018, rice & beans was nominated for a Dora Award for its production of 食盡天下/A Taste of Empire with Cahoots Theatre in Toronto. In 2019, its production of Chicken Girl was nominated for 3 Jessies in Vancouver and in 2022, its production of won a Jessie Innovation Award.

About Firehall Arts Centre:

With over forty years' history of weaving diverse storytelling into the fabric of Greater Vancouver, Firehall Arts Centre is where stories come alive. Through theatre, dance, music, inter-disciplinary work and the visual arts, The Firehall has embraced its mission to enrich lives and expand minds through the arts. One of the most unique cultural institutions in British Columbia, The Firehall - in more predictable times - hosts over two hundred performances per year. Located in the city-owned heritage fire station built in 1906, The Firehall's intimate black box studio theatre along with its outdoor courtyard performance area and its rehearsal studio has served to support innovative, eclectic, and often politically-charged theatre productions as well as exquisite, cutting-edge dance and music performances. The Firehall is proud to support emerging and established performing artists and companies, and strives to program work that is inclusive, culturally rich, and reflective of the many voices and perspectives in Canada.




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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews