“A dish of bitter melon soup is a dish of reconciliation. When we quarrel, we cannot speak the words ‘I am sorry’ – we give this bittersweet soup instead.”


The Serpent’s Table is a theatrical and culinary experience like no other. Combining performance, food and installation, five storytellers reveal the secrets of dishes that are significant in their lives and share compelling stories of family, culture, loss, conflict and celebration.

Salty, sweet, sour and bitter tales from the heart are infused into each dish, as the audience is invited to taste the experiences and memories that have just been revealed.

A crack team of Asian-Australian artists come together with some of our most inventive cooks and restaurateurs, including Indira Naidoo (The Edible Balcony) and Pauline Nguyen (Secrets of the Red Lantern), to immerse audiences in a multi-sensory environment installed at Carriageworks.

Told with candour, emotion and humour, The Serpent’s Table is designed for an intimate audience of only 30 people, who will share in this unforgettable farewell to the Year of the Snake.

A co-production with Performance 4a, in partnership with Carriageworks and Sydney Festival.


Food served during this performance will contain meat and may contain traces of nuts. Vegetarian options are not available and patrons with food allergies are advised to contact Griffin Theatre Company for further information.

Tickets to The Serpent’s Table will be available through Sydney Festival or Carriageworks once Sydney Festival 2014 tickets go on sale in mid-October.

Griffin Subscribers who have entered the ticket ballot will be notified of the outcome on 7 October 2013.


Cast & Crew


Tickets to The Serpent’s Table will be available through Sydney Festival or Carriageworks once Sydney Festival 2014 tickets go on sale in mid-October.

Griffin Subscribers who have entered the ticket ballot will be notified of the outcome on 7 October 2013.

Season 24 – 27 January

Friday 4pm and 7pm
Saturday – Monday 1pm, 4pm and 7pm

245 Wilson St
Eveleigh NSW 2015

Times & Tickets

“The food? Delicious. But it’s the honesty and feeling in each episode that makes this event more than some foodie novelty. The Serpent’s Table reminds us that storytelling is, above all, an act of sharing.” Jason Blake, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Full of surprises, painfully honest storytelling and great food…a rare treat” TimeOut Sydney

Cast & Crew

Directors Darren Yap and Lee Lewis
Media Artist Bambang N Karim
Designer Alice Lau

Composer and Sound Designer Nicholas Ng
Lighting Designer
Luiz Pampolha
Projection Consultant Mic Gruchy 

With Luke Ha, Indira Naidoo, Pauline Nguyen, Jennifer Wong, Darren Yap and Anna Yen

Darren YapCo-director and performer Darren Yap’s directing experience ranges from concert halls, large outdoor stadiums to theme parks. He has directed and re-staged productions in Australia, UK, Holland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Qatar. His directing credits include: A Murder Is Announced: Louise Withers and Associates, Spongebob Square Pants Parade: Nickoledoen, Village Roadshow,  A Night With The Phantom: Raymond Gubbay UK, I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change: VizPro International Singapore, NSW Premier’s Gala Concerts: Sydney Entertainment Centre, Venables Entertainment, Pinocchio, The Musical: Vizpro and Singapore Repertory Theatre and Steel Magnolias: for Blackbird Productions. He directed the City Of Sydney Chinese New Year Parade with over 5000 participants.  He was Segment Director of the Closing Ceremony Of The 15th Asian Games In Doha, Qatar for David Atkins Enterprises. As Associate Director he has worked on the world premiere of King Kong, Live On Stage, re-staged Miss Saigon and Mamma Mia: the 10th Anniversary and also the Closing Ceremony of the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, Sydney 2000.
Lee LewisCo-director Lee Lewis is Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company and one of the Australia’s leading directors, having worked for numerous main stage companies, including Sydney Theatre Company (Honour, ZEBRA! and Love Lies Bleeding), Belvoir (This Heaven  and That Face), Bell Shakespeare (Twelfth Night, The School for Wives), Darwin Festival (Highway of Lost Hearts) and Griffin (The Bull, the Moon and the Coronet of Stars, A Hoax, Silent Disco, The Call and The Nightwatchman). Lee’s most recent directing work includes Rupert for Melbourne Theatre Company, which will travel to Washington D.C. as part of the World Stages: International Theater Festival in March 2014. In 2014, Lewis will direct the world premiere of Declan Greene’s Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography and a revival of David Williamson’s Emerald City for Griffin Theatre Company. Lee trained as an actor at Columbia University in the United States, working on Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, before returning to Australia to study directing at NIDA.
Bambang N KarimMedia Artist Bambang N Karim is an Indonesian-born media artist who has worked with digital media for over 13 years. Bambang seeks to explore the boundaries of the digital medium and develop innovative way to integrate technology into performance work. In 2012, he received a grant from Asialink for art residency in Indonesia producing Deluge and The Mill. Throughout 2009 and 2011, he toured Australia with Yumi Umiumare’s En Trance and was nominated for a Green Room Award in Projection and Video Design for this work. In 2009, his collaborative work Sakasama, was performed at the iDance Festival in Hong Kong and his video installation entitled Miss Taken was shown at OzAsia Festival, Adelaide. Bambang’s recent work in 2013 is Vast Deafening Silence, a collaboration of dance and media art.
Alice LauDesigner Alice Lau is a blogger, foodie & video maker at Girl In A Food Frenzy. Credits include: Costume Design for Buru (Marregeku Theatre). Scenic Designer & Costumes for the Chinese New Parade, City of Sydney. I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change, Emperor’s New Clothes and Songs for a New World (Kookaburra Theatre). Costume Design for Three Furies (Performing Lines/Griffin Theatre & Sydney/Adelaide/Perth Festival’s), for which she received a Sydney Theatre Award nomination for Best Costume Design. Production Co-Design for L’Orfeo (Pinchgut Opera). Costume design for What the Butler Saw (Company B). Production design for Uncle Vanya (You Are Here/Peter Darren Productions). On The Beach (SA Opera Workshop). Training: NIDA (1997-2000).
Nicholas NgSound Designer Dr Nicholas Ng is a composer/performer based at Queensland Conservatorium. He has performed at venues such as Merkin Concert Hall (New York City), ‘The Studio’, Sydney Opera House, and at festivals including the KunstenFESTIVALdesarts (Brussels), Melbourne International Arts Festival, OzAsia Festival (Adelaide) and Push Festival (Vancouver). His award-winning compositions may be heard on radio (ABC Radio National, ABC Classic FM), in dance and theatre (Australian Choreographic Centre, Griffin Theatre, Performance 4a), and in exhibitions (Art Gallery of NSW, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art). Published by Orpheus Music, he has been commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Australian Voices, Chronology Arts and the Society for Universal Sacred Music. Nicholas practices Tai Chi weaponry and ballet, and researches diasporic Chinese music. His first edited book, ENCOUNTERS: Musical meetings between Australia and China, is based on a festival of the same name, which he curated in 2010.
Luiz PampholaLighting Designer Luiz Pampolha is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art, and a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand. Some of his lighting design credits include: For Griffin: The Call, The Story Of The Miracles At Cookie’s Table, The Nightwatchman, The Kid, Concussion; For Sydney Theatre Company: Rabbit, The Removalists, Love-Lies-Bleeding, Saturn’s Return, Waiki Hip, The 7 Stages of Grieving, Romeo & Juliet; For Belvoir: Antigone, Ruben Guthrie, Don’t Take Your Love To Tow, This Heaven; For Bell Shakespeare: Twelfth Night; For Sydney Opera House: The CODA Collective, danceTank, Emergence; For Marguerite Pepper Production: Happy As Larry; For Railway Street: Weather, Somewhere; For Australian Chamber Orchestra: Kreutzer vs Kreutzer. For Sydney Chamber Opera: The Cunning Little Vixen; For Pinchgut Opera: Griselda, Castor et Pollux. Furthermore, he has designed productions for international arts festivals in Edinburgh, Wellington, Belfast, Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne. Luiz was nominated for best lighting design in 2006 and 2007 (Sydney Theatre Awards), and in 2010 (Green Room Awards).
Mic GruchyProjection Consultant Mic Gruchy’s work spans the fields of theatre, opera, dance, installation, feature film and television. Mic was awarded an Australia Council Creative Australia Artist’s Fellowship for inter-disciplinary practice in 2012/13. He teaches visual production at NIDA and has just completed editing the feature film Convict. His theatrical design credits include A Streetcar Named Desire, The Girl of the Golden West, Aida (Opera Australia); Flowering Tree (Perth Festival); Wrong Skin (Performing Lines); My Bicycle Loves You (Legs On The Wall); I am Eora (Sydney Festival); Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe (Belvior St Theatre); Freeze Frame for the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (Brisbane Festival).
Luke HaPerformer Luke Ha is an acrobat, an aerialist, and an artist. After training in gymnastics from a young age he turned his focus to circus. Luke trained at the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne. During this time he performed in 20s05, Melbourne Festival’s DiVino, the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony, and created his own solo act. Having completed his Bachelor Degree he went on to perform in Osaka at Universal Studio’s Japan. He reached the semi finals in the television show Australia’s Got Talent, performed in ShangHai Lady Killer with Stalker Theatre Company at Brisbane Festival, and was the opening aerial performance in Sydney’s Chinese New Year Parade 2010. Luke has just returned from Macau, China after almost 3 years and over one thousand performances of Franco Dragone’s The House Of Dancing Water. Luke is working towards creating his own solo show and entering into the stunt acting industry.
Indira NaidooPerformer Indira Naidoo is one of Australia’s most popular broadcasters. During her 25 year journalistic career, Indira has hosted and reported for some of the country’s most distinguished news and current affair programs including the ABC’s Late Edition news and SBS TV’s award-winning late night news, World News Tonight. A long-time foodie, Indira has recently focused her journalistic interest on the issues of food and sustainability. Her recent best-selling book The Edible Balcony documents her adventures growing fruit and vegetables on her inner-city balcony and then preparing them into delicious recipes. Her garden and recipes have featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and Network Ten’s The Living Room. Indira was also a contestant on the inaugural episode of Celebrity MasterChef. Purchase a copy of The Edible Balcony
Pauline NguyenPerformer Pauline Nguyen is co-owner of the most awarded Vietnamese restaurant in Australia, Red Lantern. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed Secrets of the Red Lantern. Pauline’s writing has been selected for The Best Australian Essays 2010 and Voracious The Best New Australian Food Writing. She holds a BA in Communications UTS and in 2008 won Newcomer Writer of the Year at theAustralian Book Industry Awards. Secrets of the Red Lantern won Best Asian Cookbook in the same year. Red Lantern is six times winner of Best Asian Restaurant (Restaurant & Catering Awards), and in 2012/2013 was voted Australia’s favourite restaurant (I LOVE Food Awards). Red Lantern won the 2012 Australian Telstra Medium Business Award NSW. Pauline is the mother of two young children and is a professional speaker and business mentor in her spare time. Working with the talented team of The Serpent’s Table is Pauline’s first foray into the world of Performance Art. Purchase a copy of Secrets of the Red Lantern.
Jennifer WongPerformer Jennifer Wong is a writer and comedian. She has performed solo stand-up shows at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival, Sydney Fringe Festival, Perth International Comedy Festival, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2011 she was one of five Australian comedians selected for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s new talent showcase, Comedy Zone, and included in The Sydney Morning Herald’s list of top ten new comics to watch. Switching between English, Cantonese, and Mandarin in her stand-up, Jennifer uses comedy to support the work of organisations in areas of mental health, education, cultural and linguistic diversity, and anti-racism. In 2013, she was one of 100 young ‘changemakers’ from 94 countries selected to attend the United Nations Association of Civilisations summer school in New York. Her 2014 show, Laughable: The One-Liner Show, opens at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, before heading to other Australian cities.
Anna YenPerformer Anna Yen performer, director, theatre maker and movement teacher. Her one-woman show Chinese Take Away and its film adaptation (Looking Glass Pictures) has toured to Asia, Europe and USA. Other performances include: A Creation Myth (tunCloud); Phoenix Rising (Woodford); Waterwheel Installation (Igneous); Karaoke King (short film); Fortune (La Boite); Wicked Bodies (Zen Zen Zo / La Boite); Cravings (Vulcana); Load-Ed Stories (QTC); After China (CINOVA); and with Rock’n’Roll Circus. Anna has directed / created new works with Backbone Youth Arts, Performers4Peace, Vulcana Women’s Circus, Griffith University Applied Theatre, University of Qld, QUT, Ausdance / ECCQ, and independent artists. She collaborated in CLUSTER’s Undiscovered Country Exhibition, OzAsia Festival. In 2014, Anna’s projects include: clowning in the award winning Playful Engagement project with The Lamingtons / Wesley Mission / Griffith Uni; teaching Feldenkrais Method at the Qld Conservatorium; leading PlayMoves workshops; and Artist in Residence at Clifford Park Special School.