Skip to main content

Main navigation

A man standing on a platform, holding a rope and a stick.


23 & 24 June 2023

In the Studio

Sydney Opera House Presents

Kids & Families

A timeless coming-of-age story

Ages 10+ | Set against the backdrop of the Australian Goldrush of 1857, join Yong on an epic coming-of-age journey as he travels from his small village in China to Ballarat. Faced with momentous change, his courage and inner strength are tested in this sprawling and dynamic Asian-Australian story.

Yong is a universally resonant story about a young boy who must learn to step out of the shadow of other people’s expectations to find himself.

Jenevieve Chang, writer

Overcoming adversity and building courage

A storm rages. Thunder cracks, the wind a mournful howl, rain falls and waves crash. The wooden boat bucks and heaves. Yong holds on tight. He looks up at the moon and thinks of home.

Set against the backdrop of the Australian Goldrush of 1857, Yong is a new Australian play by Jenevieve Chang. Mixing historical fact and narrative fiction, Yong takes us on a journey across land and sea, from China to the goldfields of Australia. In overcoming difficult challenges, he discovers a resilience in himself that he never knew he had.

Please note that the production contains Themes of Parental Death, Racism and Simulated Violence.

Winner of the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Production for Children

A Monkey Baa Theatre Company production
Written for the stage by Jenevieve Chang
Based on the book Yong: The Journey of an Unworthy Son by Janeen Brian published by Walker Books Australia Pty Ltd

Supported by:
The Australian Government RISE fund
Australia Council for the Arts
NSW Government

Presented by Sydney Opera House

NSW Government

Watch the Trailer

About Monkey Baa Theatre Company

Monkey Baa Theatre Company creates and presents great theatre for young people. They collaborate with internationally acclaimed authors, award-winning creatives, and most importantly, imaginative young people, in bringing their shows to life.

Over 25 years, Monkey Baa has become one of Australia’s widest touring companies with 38 national tours to 135 regional and remote communities, 5 international tours and over 3500 performances reaching over 1.5 million young people.

The stories Monkey Baa shares embrace social and cultural connections, celebrate our rich cultural heritage and inspire young audiences to learn about the world and their place in it.

Meet the performer

George Zhao is an award-winning actor working across film, TV and theatre. In 2018 he won the Casting Guild Award of ‘Rising Star’.

George’s screen credits include the regular character of ‘Andrew Law’ in the award-winning series, FAMILY LAW, series 1, 2 & 3.  The SBS web series Homecoming Queens, TV series Jack IrishSando and most recently, lead role of ‘Leo Gao’ in the feature film Runaway Millionaires.

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in 2013 he has performed in leading roles in Monkey Tales (Monkey Baa Theatre Company), Screw Tape Letters (Twisted Tree Theatre Company), which toured nationally in 2016 and 2017 and more recently Harp in the south part 1 and 2 (STC) and Cosi (MTC).


Other information

You may also like

20 - 24 Apr 2024 Kids & Families

Polar Bear & Penguin

Ages 5+ | This charming play for young audiences follows the tale of an unlikely encounter between a Polar Bear and a Penguin. This is the story of polar opposite characters meeting for the first time, getting to know one another and learning how to survive in a world that is melting beneath their feet...paws...flippers. 

12 - 14 Apr 2024 Kids & Families

I Wish...

Ages 4 + | I Wish... is an acrobatic adventure exploring all the things we could be. Through physical theatre, stunning visuals, and a healthy dose of humour, explore our differences to reveal the magic of individuality.

5 - 21 Jul 2024 Kids & Families

James and the Giant Peach

Ages 6+ | Climb aboard the world’s juiciest fruit as Roald Dahl’s James & The Giant Peach rolls off the page and onto the stage in Shake & Stir’s most delicious adventure yet. 

Checking availability