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Pulling together to stage a classic

New play, adapted from Lao She's Rickshaw Boy, takes a different route to previous versions, Chen Nan reports.

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-08 07:44
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Zhao Zhen (left) as Huniu with Liu Xinran, one of the three actors who portrays Xiangzi. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"The director has a clear idea about Xiangzi, who is tall, strong, shy, inexperienced and hardworking. When he first saw me, he was sure that I had the look of Xiangzi," says young actor Xu Xingbo, who plays the young version of the protagonist. He tried to get as close to the character as possible by shaving his head and learning to pull a rickshaw.

Actor Liu Xinran plays Xiangzi after his money to buy a rickshaw is stolen.

"He is devastated, but still has the hope of making enough money again to buy his rickshaw. The man is very lovely, but also very tragic. His life is full of struggles but he still has hope," Liu says.

When it comes to the final part of the play, Fang plays Xiangzi as a totally changed man who has lost all hope.

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