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Theater talent on show in capital

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-06 07:38

Theater talent on show in capital

Hu Hanchi, a young director and actor, blends the essence of traditional Chinese operas, hip-hop and live music into plays. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A play combining traditional operas, hip-hop and a folk band, will be staged at the National Small Theater Festival. Chen Nan reports.

About two years ago, when Hu Hanchi, who was studying at the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts, decided to make his directorial debut, he chose San Sheng (literally meaning Three Lives), a story from Liaozhai Zhiyi, or Strange Tales From a Chinese Studio, a collection of supernatural tales by Pu Songling in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

"The story is simple, clear and made me think," says Hu, 27.

However, he didn't want to copy the original.

He spent eight months rewriting the script.

To save money, he also directed and played all the four roles in the play-a young scholar, a dog, a horse and a snake.

In July 2016, the play, The Wheel of Time, based on Pu's original story, premiered at the theater of the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts.

So far, it has been staged 10 times across the country.

Over Sept 16-17, The Wheel of Time will be staged at the Star Theater in Beijing.

In the story, a man is punished by the King of Hell for doing bad things.

Then, he reincarnates into a dog, a horse and a snake for three lives.

In the one-man show, Hu plays a young poor scholar, who shelters in an abandoned temple on a rainy night.

In his sleep, he dreams about a dog, a horse and a snake.

The three animals all die in his dream and he tries to save them.

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