I left the E 15 Acting School in London in 1973 and during that time I have worked in Film, Television, Theatre, Radio and other voice work both in the UK and internationally.
See my, Acting – Comprehensive CV or ‘who, where and when’.
I feel very lucky that my career has given me the opportunity to work around the world, in America, Canada, Europe, the Far East and China. As well as enjoying each place for its own qualities and customs, I have learned a lot as a performer by acting with people of different cultures and traditions.
I am still remembered by many people for creating the role of Detective Sergeant John Ho, ‘The Chinese Detective‘ written by Ian Kennedy Martin for BBC TV in the early eighties.
Roles in feature films like ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’, directed by Stephen Spielberg, James Bond – ‘A View to a Kill‘ directed by John Glen and ‘Entrapment‘ directed by Jon Amiel, have served to widen my fan base.
I was born in Liverpool, one of eight children! Seven boys and one girl, not unusual for those days.
I am third eldest. Dad was a Chinese seaman from the Canton area of southern China, who arrived in Liverpool aged sixteen years old in 1942. Mum was a local Liverpool girl.
Liverpool has the oldest Chinese community in Europe and we lived and were brought up just round the corner from Chinatown.
The experience of being brought up in a mixed race family has been a source of inspiration and curiosity throughout my life and career. In response to this, I have written and presented six documentaries for television and radio about the Chinese Community in Liverpool.
A very useful link to this subject is the Liverpool born academic, Yvonne Foley’s website:
I have also written and directed my first short film, ‘Chinese Whispers’.
British Film Institute review: “David Yip’s directorial debut packs a lot into ten minutes.”
All these experiences culminated in the amazing adventure which was writing and creating ‘Gold Mountain’ for the theatre. A co-production with Graeme Phillips of Unity Theatre in Liverpool and the internationally acclaimed French Canadian company from Montreal, Les Deux Mondes.
The Gold Mountain page on this website has more details about the production but suffice to say that the day in 2008 when I met Daniel Meilleur, Michel Robidoux and Yves Dube`, the three geniuses who are LDM, my life changed for ever. Eugene Salleh is the other actor in the production.
‘Gold Mountain’ has its roots in my experience of growing up in Liverpool and the relationship I had with my father. But over the period that the team worked on it, ‘Gold Mountain’ developed beyond the personal story, to a more international one. Developing ideas and themes of identity, belonging and history.
As a group of artists we have worked together since 2008. Although we only come together to perform ‘Gold Mountain’, when we do meet it’s like we have never been away from each other.
In 2013 Daniel, Michel and Yves left LDM after a thirty year continuous working relationship to become freelance artists looking for new challenges. I am incredibly proud and humbled that ‘Gold Mountain’ is their final production together and that it demonstrates brilliantly their multi media talents and genius acquired over those thirty years.
I now live in a beautiful part of North Oxfordshire with my wife Virginia and our dog Buddy.
I am now enjoying the most demanding and exciting role of my life, being a granddad!
I feel a huge sense of gratitude for my life and my career and this is put into focus and perspective by my Buddhist faith. Since 1996, I have been a Buddhist, a member of SGI UK, which is one of the organisations in over 190 countries throughout the world which together make up SGI (Soka Gakkai International).
Soka means the ‘creation of value’ and gakkai means ‘society’.
SGI is the world-wide movement based on Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, and its teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which encourages the development of the individual’s greatest potential.
SGI is a broad humanistic movement for the benefit of the people of the world, engaging with other institutions, associations, groups and individuals who wish actively to create a better world.
Our beliefs and practice direct people to respect that which is of ultimate value: life itself.
Central to the Buddhist teachings is the law of cause and effect, which states that every cause we make (in thought, word or deed) creates an effect in our own life and that of our environment.
Through their Buddhist faith and practice, SGI members transform their inner lives and develop the qualities needed to bring about personal fulfilment and contribute to the positive development of society.