The Yellow Wave

In 2010 Beng stumbled upon Major-General James Alexander Kenneth Mackay’s 1895 novel The Yellow Wave: A Romance of the Asiatic Invasion of Australia and its fevered account of the doomed love between Dick Hatten and Heather Cameron in the midst of a Russian-led Mongol invasion of Australia.

This piece of Australian 19th century invasion fiction by a well-regarded pastoralist, soldier and New South Wales parliamentarian became an object of fascination. Workshops and creative developments followed and, after a fallow period, the result was a piece of theatre designed to challenge and show off the skill, talent and virtuosity of two Asian-Australian actors, Keith Brockett and John Marc Desengano, who between them play all the characters in this sweeping saga. In time they were joined by Andrea McCannon in the crucial role of the narrator and The Yellow Wave was born, premiering at the inaugural Poppy Seed Festival in 2015.

Nominated 2015 Green Room Award for Best Ensemble (Independent Theatre)

2017 VCE Theatre Studies Playlist

La Mama Courthouse
10 to 21 May 2017

Regional Arts Victoria
Arts and Education Tour
24 April to 5 May 2017

Adelaide Fringe Festival
The Bakehouse Theatre
11 March 2017


The Butterfly Club
26 April to 8 May 2016

Poppy Seed Festival
The Butterfly Club
17 to 29 November 2015

In The Works
(Creative Development)
5 to 9 September 2011
Showing: 9 September 2011


“Beng Oh and Jane Miller, however, adapted this classic tale, with its xenophobic and patriotic narrative, to the ongoing discourses about immigration, race and ethnicity. What entails is a hysterical comedy.”

Peril Magazine

“Director Beng Oh, who has proven already both a capacity for risk and great sense of humour, keeps the show rocketing along at a pace that could be exhausting if it were not so much fun.  Don’t miss it.”

Stage Whispers

“It is crime against the arts that this show will not be seen by more people this Fringe … Under the brilliant directorial hand of Beng Oh, Jane Miller’s hilarious script is executed perfectly … Quite simply, this show is brilliant from start to finish.”

GLAM Adelaide

“Director Beng Oh wrests snap and spark from a devised performance which resembles the kind of subversive retake of colonial Australia that animated Sisters Grimm’s The Sovereign Wife, on the one hand, and something close to the lunatic comic duo from Chinese cross-talk, on the other.”

Sydney Morning Herald

“Beng Oh, an expert at deconstructing classic texts, does an incredible job of adapting this multi-continent saga”.

The Plus Ones
Photo by Lachlan Woods

Jane Miller

Beng Oh

Emily Collett

Matthew Barber

Sarah McKenzie (2015)
Dan Barca (2018)

Lachlan Woods

Pier Carthew

TS Publicity (2015)

Karen Slade Brief Eater design

Keith Brockett
John Marc Desengano
Andrea McCannon

Keith Brockett
Miki Brotzler
John Marc Desengano
Tania Lentini
Christie Nieman (writer and dramaturg)
Zachary Ruane

15 Minutes from Anywhere
Poppyseed Festival (2015)
Regional Arts Victoria (2017)
La Mama Theatre (2017)