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400 years on, Tang and Shakespeare brought closer together

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-10-19 11:20 Comments

400 years on, Tang and Shakespeare brought closer together

Combination photo taken on March 24, 2015 by Han Yan (L) shows an actor performing a play of British writer William Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon, Britain and taken on Oct 11, 2016 by Zhou Mi (R) shows actors performing "The Peony Pavilion" of Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu in Fuzhou of East China's Jiangxi province. [Photo/Xinhua]


Ansell and Leeds University students who starred in the adaption had a rehearsal in Fuzhou, in a park dedicated to commemorating the author, on Saturday. Local people, who have seldom seen westerners in drama, stood to watch, some with babies in their arms, others filming with smart phones.

George Clifford, the lead actor, is a fourth year student in Leeds University. Before the play, he and other performers learned Chinese language and drama techniques.

He told Xinhua that he loved Tang's works. But before doing this project, he found the plays "inaccessible" because of the language.

According to his schoolmate Jonathan Dowsett, language was not the only difficulty.

"In a [U.K.] contemporary theater, people are more used to something avant-garde," Dowsett said. "People can use the audience as part of the performance, while in Chinese theater it is very important to retain the traditional cultural experience."

While he suggests finding a balance to popularize traditional Chinese plays, Ansell said that cultural confidence was necessary.

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