Sophie Gopsill plays the mama-san in The Receptionist, a film following the lives of employees and clients at an illegal massage parlour.

Chance to see Uckfield’s Sophie on screen in Lewes

A film featuring Uckfield-based actress and singer Sophie Gopsill is to be shown at The Depot cinema in Lewes on four evenings from Sunday to Wednesday, July 20-25.

The screening times are 17.45 every day except Sunday, when it is 17.15.

On the Sunday Sophie will host a question and answer session after the screening. She also hopes to give a short introduction to the film on all the other days, except the Wednesday.

True story

Sophie’s film The Receptionist, which is based on a true story and follows the lives of employees and clients at an illegal massage parlour, has met with success around the world.

Sophie plays the mama-san, or madam, Lily there. The story is told through the eyes of a Taiwanese receptionist at the massage parlour.

Since the UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June last year, it was screened at the Raindance Film Festival in London in September where it sold out and extra screenings were put on.

Best feature film

It went on to the London East Asian Film Festival in October and the New York Asian Film Festival, in South Africa and Milan.

It won best feature film at the Salient Film Festival and at the Sochi International Film Festival.

The Salento International Film Festival took it to Hong Kong in May, where it sold out and was expanded to five screenings.


In Taiwan, where it was produced, it sold more than 350,000 tickets and won prizes at the Golden Horse Film Festival.

The film is also booked to be screened in Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Picturehouse, Discover Tuesday programme throughout the UK, London Regent Street, Chichester, Berlin and Amsterdam.

Sophie’s own life has been tough. She spent seven years of her life in a hard labour camp after her parents were imprisoned by China’s Mao regime.


She was born in Hong Kong but moved with her parents to China in 1950 where her conductor and composer father, Zhuo Ming Lee, directed at the Beijing National Opera House and the Harbin Opera House, while her mother was operatic director.

The Cultural Revolution halted Sophie’s own musical education in the 1960s. Her parents were sent to prison for being ‘intellectuals’ while Sophie and her sisters were sent to hard labour camp for seven years on the Sino-Soviet border, living in primitive conditions in temperatures down to -40C in the winter.

When the chaos subsided Sophie became a member of a western classical music and drama group in China. In 1980 she returned to Hong Kong and toured extensively in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, performing in live concerts, sports stadiums, on TV, radio and in opera houses and also for charity benefits.


She emigrated to the UK in 1985 and continued her career before battling cancer and a brain tumour in the late 80s and early 90s.

Having recovered she moved to Italy in 1998 and spent six years performing there and appearing as an actress in an Italian TV film drama.

Since returning to live the UK Sophie has been to Hong Kong several times and most recently was there for a memorial concert for her late father.

Sophie talks about her role in the film in the YouTube video below:

See also:

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