William Waldorf Astor, who built Two Temple Place was part of one of the great immigrant dynasty success stories. His great-grandfather migrated from rural Germany to America in the 1790s. Within a few years, the Astor family was rubbing shoulders with Presidents and owned huge sections of New York, including vast slums.
Four generations later, William Waldorf Astor fled America for England, threatened with kidnapping and feeling hated in his own country, in search of a new place to belong. In ‘every dollar is a soldier/with money you’re a dragon’, writer and performer Daniel York Loh unravels Astor’s apparent success story in comparison to the migration of Chinese people, at one time the biggest migrators on the planet – blown across the globe by famine, poverty, instability.
Mixing gaming and 3D technology, this experimental 45 minute production combines original music, virtual performances and a new script exploring the migrant experience, from the poorest of Chinese sailors who jumped ship in the East End, to the richest of men like William Waldorf Astor, the eccentric founder of Two Temple Place.