Review: Luò yè guī gēn – Getting Home (online)

Streaming on-demand as part of this year’s Brighton Fringe, written by Cheryl Ho, Luò yè guī gēn – Getting Home is a one-woman show about belonging, family, and choices.

Hui Yi is a Chinese Singaporean woman living in Melbourne, an actor trying to make an impact in a place which doesn’t quite feel like home.

Writer-performer Cheryl Ho makes quite an impact as her character struggles with issues around the ambition and expectations of the Western world and family bonds and tradition of Asia.

Designer-producer Rachel Lee’s collaboration with Ho took the form of a filmed show after originally planning it live. It is a highly accomplished piece which has good pacing and excellent sound.

The digital programme explains how the two women learned the basics of making online content from YouTube tutorials. The show was filmed for initial showing at the Melbourne Fringe in 2020.

Promotional image of Getting Home

Hui Yi’s concerns include grappling with modern technology and guilt with missing key family milestones. When an earthquake hits, decisions must be made about where she really belongs.

Across a show which runs around 45 minutes, we see drawings, messages, and a growing mindmap which deals with legacy, ancestry, and the mundane decisions of a work life.

Her nervous energy, emotional peaks and troughs, and deep love of her roots come across throughout Ho’s performance, whether asking her Alexa to arrange things, popping up as a chatty techie commenting on plot points, or making an awkward self-tape.

Getting Home is wickedly funny in places and deeply touching in others. We all have families, many live apart from them. We all have dreams, but few of us really use the short life we have to achieve them.

You can view Getting Home in the Brighton Fringe until 6 June. Purchase a ticket here.