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Theater festival promises performances to remember

Beijing set to stage an array of domestic and international productions from July to December, Chen Nan reports.

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-22 10:04
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A scene from Prima Facie, a one-woman play featuring Chinese actress Xin Zhilei. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The 10th edition of the NCPA International Theatre Festival by the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing will take place from July 6 to Dec 6.

During the event, 17 theatrical productions from China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom will be staged along with 62 shows in Beijing.

"Theater has the power to entertain, provoke thought, inspire change and unite people across cultures and generations," says Wang Wei, director of the performance department of the NCPA, in a news conference in Beijing announcing the festival on June 18.

Since 2015, the festival has staged 96 theatrical productions from home and abroad, presenting over 400 performances, Wang says.

This year, the festival will open with two Chinese stage adaptations of William Shakespeare's classic works — Hamlet by director Chen Xinyi and A Midsummer Night's Dream by director Guan Bo, both produced by the NCPA and performed by the NCPA Drama Ensemble.

Hamlet premiered at the performing arts center in 2016, marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, which not only interpreted the classic tragedy but also gave it a fresh spin with a new character based on Chinese poet and translator Zhu Shenghao (1912-44). Zhu, a Shakespearean scholar, was the first to translate Shakespeare's complete works into modern Chinese. Since its premiere, the Chinese iteration of the play has been staged five times in multiple performances at the NCPA, receiving warm feedback from audiences.

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