The great dame inspires bright lights of the theater and literature

By Chen Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-06-25 07:38:14

The great dame inspires bright lights of the theater and literature

A still photo of the play And Then There Were None. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Nine years ago Tong Xin, a graduate of the Shanghai Theater Academy who had spent three years working in advertising, decided to quit his job and pursue his passion for theater.

It was a decision that many of his friends were highly skeptical about, given that he had never produced a drama before. However, Tong's wife, Lin Yi, who had studied with him at the academy and is a director and actress at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, gave him her full backing.

The pair adapted one of the most popular and best-selling thrillers of Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None, into a drama, which premiered in Shanghai on Nov 29, 2007.

In those days crime and suspense theater dramas were rarely seen in the city. The first series of 30 performances was sold out and the production has now been staged more than 380 times and attracting 300,000 viewers. Its latest series of performances in Shanghai was staged from May 19 to June 19.

Looking back on his bold decision, Tong, 36, attributes the unexpected success to Christie.

In December 2007, Tong and Lin founded their own studio, Mousetrap Drama Studio, and focused on adapting Christie's masterpieces into theater. They have produced nine dramas based on Christie's works, including The Unexpected Guest, The Hollow and Go Back for Murder.

"Her dark and captivating tales thrill and enthrall as murder unfolds," Tong says, adding that "in those days Shanghai audiences had seen few thrillers and suspense dramas. In the intervening years we have built up a loyal fan base not only among theater-lovers but also among fans of Christie's books."

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