Binge Fringe Magazine

INTERVIEW: A Digital Pint with… Po-Yuan Chung, Listening in to ‘The Whisper of the Waves’ at Prague Fringe 2024

To mark the launch of the 23rd Prague Fringe, we sat down for a chat with Po-Yuan Chung, Writer-Director of The Whisper of the Waves. Taiwan’s Shinehouse Theatre are offering up an intersectional consideration of environment and human nature in the piece, which arrives from touring in Italy to the Czech Republic on Wednesday 29th. The kaleidoscopic piece is set to explore loneliness through the eyes of a taxi driver and his companion, a potted plant, alongside the story of a queer couple considering surrogate parenting, and even more.

You can catch The Whisper of the Waves from the 29th May to June 1st at Prague Fringe. Tickets are available through the Prague Fringe Box Office.

Jake: Hi Yuan! Your show The Whisper of the Waves covers a kaleidoscope of topics from queer surrogate parenting to loneliness, and what to do in the face of disaster. Tell us what inspired the show’s themes.

Yuan: Taiwan is situated on a seismic belt and has long faced political instability, which made me acutely aware of how ordinary people exhibit common human frailties. From them, I also see the bravest aspects of humanity. This is what makes the characters in The Whisper of the Waves so fascinating. Unlike the glamorous KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) of contemporary social media, these are people striving to survive in their everyday lives. Through their stories, we can see reflections of both the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of our own lives, providing a warm source of inspiration.

Jake: Tell us a little bit about the process of creating and rehearsing the show and what you have been up to ahead of the show landing at Prague Fringe.

Yuan: Each time we perform in a different country, we need to translate the script into the local language. So far, The Whisper of the Waves has been translated into Japanese, Korean, English, Lithuanian, and German. Next, we are working on Czech and Turkish. Each translation makes me feel as though these characters come from different countries, and I eagerly anticipate how audiences in each country will perceive them.

Jake: Tell us about your relationship with Prague and how the show has ended up performing at the Prague Fringe.

Yuan: I first visited Prague in 2014. I saw many Picassos at the art museum, ate burgers at KFC that were much bigger than those in Taiwan, and rode the trams. I dreamed of one day bringing my work here. In 2023, my team and I brought our work to the Prague Quadrennial (PQ23), showcasing segments of “The Whisper of the waves” combined with technology. This year, we can present the entire piece, fulfilling a ten-year-old wish. It means a great deal to me.

Jake: Fitting with the themes of our magazine, if your show was an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage (think cocktails, mocktails, shots, beers, be creative!) what would it be?

Yuan: If I had to choose, I’d say The Whisper of the Waves is like a glass of water. Different geological sources give water various tastes. Even though water’s composition is simple, it offers a rich diversity of flavors. Each person might have a different experience when tasting it. This is the feeling I hope the work can evoke in the audience.

Tickets are available through the Prague Fringe Box Office.

Photo Credit: Terry Lin

Jake Mace

Our Lead Editor & Edinburgh Editor. Jake loves putting together reviews that try to heat-seek the essence of everything they watch. They are interested in New Writing, Literary Adaptations, Musicals, Cabaret, and Stand-Up. Jake aims to cover themes like Class, Nationality, Identity, Queerness, and AI/Automation.

Festivals: EdFringe (2018-2023), Brighton Fringe (2019), Paris Fringe (2020), VAULT Festival (2023), Prague Fringe (2023-24), Dundee Fringe (2023)
Pronouns: They/Them