Jennifer Leong

Jennifer is originally from Hong Kong, is based in London, and speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin.

She was choral scholar at the University of Cambridge, before going on to train at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Jennifer played Ophelia and Horatio (in rotation) in the world tour of Hamlet with Shakespeare’s Globe. The production visited 189 countries and received the International Award from The Stage Awards (2015) and the Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre from the UK Theatre Awards (2014). She also performed in the UK tour of Shore to Shore, and played the lead in Kiki’s Delivery Service at the Southwark Playhouse.

She recently finished playing the lead in Acceptance at the Hampstead Theatre.

This year Jennifer will be making her feature film debut in Kat and the Band and her television debut in Chimerica for Channel 4

Chimerica

Jennifer has been cast in Channel 4’s Chimerica, an adaptation of Lucy Kirkwood’s critically acclaimed play.

Reviews for Acceptance

  • As Angela, Leong is a nice mix of sympathy and insistence. Whatsonstage.com
  • The issues and the manner in which they are explored, are genuinely fascinating and many viewers are likely to come out of the theatre considerably wiser than they were at the beginning of the evening, which initially builds to a scene of confrontation that has genuine power and perfectly showcases the acting talents of Jennifer Leong.   Theatreworld.com

A CUP OF TEA WITH… ACCEPTANCE’S JENNIFER LEONG

We chat to Jennifer Leong about embarrassing onstage moments, Lady Macbeth and life advice. Jennifer plays Angela in Acceptance, which is now playing Downstairs until 7 April. 

Welcome to Hampstead, Jennifer! You’re now in the full swing of the run for Acceptance – how’s it all going?

It’s going pretty well thanks! I love our little company. I also loved the openness with which Anna [Ledwich], our director, ran the rehearsals; and the responsiveness of our writer, Amy [Ng], to all our questions.

So despite the challenging subject matter, it’s been joyous!

Can you describe Acceptance in a nutshell?

Acceptance is so hard to put in a box! It’s set in the admissions office of an Ivy League University; we follow one applicant’s encounters with the figures of authority. For me it’s about finding a place of belonging, coming to terms with the past and the ambiguity in relationships.

What first attracted you to Acceptance?

It’s a very timely story. It’s dark and it really makes you think. I like how all four characters come in with their own, very distinct, sets of values- making for fiery clashes.

Tell us a little more about your character Angela.

Angela is a musical prodigy who applies for a scholarship at this prestigious university. She is running away from an event in her recent past that quickly catches up with her. You get the feeling she’s always been quite obsessive about her craft, and also quite lonely.

Without giving too much away, what’s your favourite line from the show?

The spoiler-free answer off the top of my head is ‘Our job is not to hunt down rare minorities like trophies’.

But the real answer is ‘Delusional Nymphomaniac’. Actually that doesn’t give much away…

Any embarrassing moments on stage?

So all the scene transitions are done in blackout. I have a quick change where I need to chuck my jacket and come back with a new prop in seconds, with nothing but bits of glow tape as marks in total darkness. Once I ran headlong into the wall thinking it was the exit! Luckily the only person who saw that was our stage manager Michael, from his all-seeing infrared monitor. And surprisingly he still hasn’t brought it up.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Teresa [Banham] and I always run our first scene together. It has become a bit of a superstition now I think. I wouldn’t feel right until we’ve done that.

What play have you seen recently that you’ve really enjoyed? And why?

I recently saw Girls and Boys at the Royal Court with the incredible Carey Mulligan. ‘Enjoy’ probably isn’t the right word but it was an experience! It was gritty, surprising and done with absolute conviction. Magic.

What’s your dream role?

Lady Macbeth! I might have to wait a couple of years but that is the dream!

What would you be if you weren’t an actor?

I’d be either a journalist or a diplomat. I love travelling and talking to people.

Where’s your favourite place in London?

Somerset House. A place for all seasons and just so stunning.

And finally, what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

A brilliant acting teacher once said to me, ‘it’s just fun’. And it is!

Acceptance

Jennifer will be playing the lead role in Acceptance at the Hampstead Theatre from 2 March – 7 April

Jennifer Leong in 'Kiki's Delivery Service'

Jennifer Leong cast in the title role in Kiki’s Delivery Service at the Southwark Playhouse, directed by Kate Hewitt.

 

Reviews are in for From Shore To Shore

The reviews are in for From Shore To Shore, directed by David Tse and with Jennifer Leong playing Ying.

The press on Jennifer and the play:

  • “There are strong supporting performances from Jennifer Leong, Paula So Man Siu, and Alan Wai.” Richard Horsman, The Culture Vulture.
  • “The production is well thought out from start to finish” Four Stars, The Reviews Hub.