top of page

Directing BBC Radio 4 Drama - Dragons of the Pool
broadcast on 7th March 2024 

Dragon of the Pool 210124 (2) illustration.jpeg

Inspired by the true story of the Chinese seamen, forcibly repatriated from Liverpool in 1945-46, Dragons of the Pool is a fictional account based on the history of the "compulsory repatriation of undesirable Chinese seamen" following their service during World War 2, back to Hong Kong and China, which was on the brink of Civil War.

Set over the course of 50 years, the drama follows the journey of middle aged Leigh and her long lost father, Haoyu, as he tries to make his way back to the child he was forced to leave behind in Liverpool.

As Leigh’s mother Maggie’s dementia worsens, memories start coming back. Having moved away from Liverpool as a small child, Leigh begins her journey to find out the real story of her father only as she packs up her mother’s things.

The story touches on Maggie and Haoyu’s romance, Leigh’s birth and from there we follow his journey from his abduction, via his return to China’s Shanghai, travelling to the West Indies before returning to the UK in the late 1960s with his second daughter, XinYi.

Leigh learns about the Dragons of the Pool, a Facebook group of mixed raced left behind children searching for their Chinese fathers. Eventually she and Maggie meet her half sister, Xinyi, who begins to fill in the dots as to what happened to her father. Not all plain sailing, coming in second to a sister that existed only in Haoyu’s heart makes it hard for the sisters to connect - but finally they start to build a relationship.

LEIGH JONES (XĪNYU) ..… Liz Sutherland
MAGGIE JONES ..... Lucy Speed
LǏ HAOYǓ ….. Jeremy Ang Jones
TAN MINGZE ….. Jon Chew
LǏ XĪNYI ….. Gabby Wong

Production team:
Writer, Kathryn Golding
Producer, Polly Thomas
Director, Shan Ng
Original Music, Ruth Chan
Sound Designer, Alisdair McGregor
Sound Recordist, Wilfredo Acosta
Illustrator, YanKi Darling

Production Manager, Darren Spruce
Executive Producer, Polly Thomas


Special thanks to Yvonne Foley, founder of Dragons and Lions, for her time and help with research.

A Naked production for BBC Radio 4

bottom of page