Soap goes to China town

5th January 2001 at 00:00
FOR thousands of Mancunians there's nothing better after a Saturday night out than a meal in the city's China town. Now, however, Manchester's Oriental links are to become more sophisticated.

A group of A-level drama students have linked up via the Internet with a teacher-training college in central China to put together a 10-part soap opera called Manchester M14 - set in the the suburbs of their home town.

The experiment involves alternate English and Chinese-written episodes. At the other end of the Internet link are the students of Yungyang teacher-training college in the province of Hubei in cntral China.

Some episodes will be performed by the students from Ashton-under-Lyne sixth-form college, at Manchester's Royal Exchange theatre on January 24 to mark Chinese new year.

"There has been some compromise needed," said Jerry Hinds, head of drama.

"There was a storyline about a Chinese student who didn't want to go back to China, and the students over there couldn't understand why someone wouldn't want to return home."

The project was the idea of Sarah Jane Rawlings, the Royal Exchange's education officer, and Kevin Wong, a TV and radio playwright based in Manchester.

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