A three-level block-bracket structure creates more space for the performers.
"The story and the thoughts we try to convey are heavy," Yin says.
"Many young actors know little about the history. So everyday we struggled how to tell the story, how to act.
"I try to blend a variety of elements into the show. How else could I keep a modern audience's attention for 145 minutes? There should be something entertaining and something that makes them think and laugh."
However, many critics question the rhythm of the play, saying that the plot is too loose and does not lead to a satisfying climax.
"Audience will remember many interesting scenes. But all these scenes are beautiful pearls without being strung together," says Li Jide, deputy editor-in-chief of Chinese Drama magazine.
"I am not quite satisfied with the play. It is more like a gala show than a drama. There are many delicate details and impressive scenes but the entire play is not that good," says actress Feng Xianzhen who acts as Qinpu's mother.
Though the presentation remains controversial, all of the leading performers deserve credit. Chen Jianbin, Ni Dahong, Han Tongsheng, Lei Kesheng, Ma Shuliang, Niu Piao and Feng Xianzhen are among the best theater actors in China.
The show will run at the National Center for the Performing Arts till May 4, except Monday.
(China Daily 04/22/2008 page19)