Ulysses comes to life on Chinese stage

By Chen Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-04-14 08:00:56

"The fundamentals of stage dramas exist in literature as well," says Yi, who founded Chan Drama in 2008 and is also a veteran set designer. Yi has previously worked on foreign and Chinese classics such as Hamlet and Tea House. "We want to bring those great writers and their works closer to Chinese audiences."

Director Arnold says that he wanted to direct Irish playwright Dermot Bolger's 1994 version of Ulysses, an act of love for him.

"Ulysses is special in my heart. Joyce's novel had never been put on any stage before. The novel has tragedy, humor, beauty of language and strong characters, which are great elements for theater," Arnold says.

Three Chinese plays directed by Yi will share the stage during the event from April to August. The Seven Sages, with a set designed by renowned architect Zhang Yonghe, explores various reactions to extreme circumstances and will be displayed in a gallery space in Beijing. The Imperial Express, a multiple-act play, recounts a journey of Dowager Empress Cixi, one of the most powerful and controversial female figures in Chinese history, to Northeast China, known as Manchuria back then, on a train purchased from Britain. Waiting for Ancestors-a Chinese reaction to Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot-was written by Zeng Yi, his classmate at Central Academy of Drama. The play explores the crisis of the Chinese literary scene in modern society.

Working with Chinese conductor Tang Muhai, Yi will also stage Turn of the Screw, an English chamber opera by Benjamin Britten.


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