Q&A with Zhou Ye Mang

By November 7, 2011

Zhou Ye Mang played the role of King Lear in David Tse’s King Lear in 2006.

This interview is from a Q&a session during the King Lear UK tour.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the production and your role within it?
能否介绍一下本剧以及你在剧中的角色?

I will play King Lear in “King Lear”. This is about a stubborn king who makes himself into the worst situation in his life. He makes typical mistakes that old man usually does—like to be flattered, trust the wrong person, is trapped by “his close fellows”. It ends bitterly—relatives gone, everything he had all gone.

本人在莎士比亚(William Shakespeare)的《李尔王》(King Lear)一剧中扮演国王李尔,该剧说的是一个固执己见的国王,如何陷自己于最糟境地。李尔王犯下许多年纪大的人都会犯的典型错误——爱接受谄媚,信错了人,最终被“自己人”反咬,落得众叛亲离和一无所有的下场。

2. Can you tell us a bit about the preparations you have been making for your role in this production?
能否介绍一下你做了如何的准备来演这个角色?

First I read through the play, hinted by the reveals and metaphor, I try to fully understand this ancient exotic story. The role I will create is an old man in power, but he gives out his power actively. In this case, I will focus on physical movement and facial expression when playing it. But I don’t think this is a senile man. What Lear does is he wants to make his decision and act when he still could, although this leads to a fatal result. He is always a strong man until the tragedy takes place—at that moment, he is completely beaten down.

我首先去阅读莎翁<李尔王>全剧,然后开始在意识中建立起莎翁在该剧中所揭示和暗喻的各种信息,尽可能的将遥远年代的异域文化做到充分的理解.另外,我要表现的是个将要自行交出指挥权的上了年纪的当权者,也许会在形体和神态上需要有所把握.但我不认为就是那种行将入朽的状态,李尔所要做的是在自己还能作主的时候做出决定,尽管这个自以为是的决定害惨了他.所以他仍旧是个硬朗的老人,只有在悲剧发生之后才被击垮.

3. You are well known for your work on TV and Film as well as the stage – which do you prefer and how do they differ for an actor?
你在电视,电影和舞台方面都很成功,请问 你最喜欢哪个,对于演员来说,这些领域表演的区别是什么?

I have been working in theatre for nearly 25 years now. I am just indulgenced in it and regard it as ever-lasting spring in my career life. On stage, everything I smells is sweet and nice. As work for TV and Film, it can’t be absent too, but more like technological practice. Actually acting in TV or Film, you can never feel choked or that excited as when you are on stage.

我从事话剧事业有近25年的时间,可以说,我对舞台表演有着无限的眷恋,我把它看作是我艺术生命永不消逝的春天,在那里我的呼吸都是甜的.影视表演对我也不可或缺,但更多的是技术方面的实践,在影视表演的过程中你永远不可能享受到舞台上那种令人兴奋的要窒息的感觉.

4. This production of King Lear is quite radical and opens first in Shanghai. What resonance do you think Shakespeare’s play has with a contemporary Chinese audience?
本剧是首次在上海演出,并且比较内容激进,你认为当代的中国观众会对莎士比亚的作品产生怎样的共鸣呢?

If I was the audience, I would first enjoy Shakespeare’s literary grace very much, and then the content. When I found these two are perfectly matched, I would feel very excited. I guess this is the charm of Shakespeare. Every place has its own audience in all times, although the cultural background differs, the grace and essence of great works would never be neglected. I think audience who has good taste will not simply focus on the plot, the story, he will raise cultural thinking too. I think modern Chinese audience is like that.

如果我是观众,我首先会去欣赏莎翁名剧中优美的文采,然后才是内容.当发现文采与内容结合的是如此的天衣无缝时我就会沉浸在突如其来的激动中,这就是莎剧的魅力.而每个地方每个时代都有自己的观众,虽然地域文化各有差异,但对作品中的精髓与文采都不会吝啬的不去欣赏.我想真正有水平的欣赏者们不会仅仅拘泥与对故事的追究,更多的是对文化的思考,当代中国观众也是如此.

5. It is often said that Shakespeare captures the human condition in a universal and timeless way.  What parallels do you see between the themes in the play and the way we live today?
众所周知,莎士比亚的剧作描写了人类共同的永恒的境遇,你认为本剧的主题和我们现代的生活方式有什么相似的地方?

I think the tragedy of King Lear Shakespeare created is a warning he made to people of all societies—we should seek sincerity all the time, in whatever position, a king or an ordinary person. Sincerity is forever the topic of our life, especially in today’s rapidly changed society. Many people lie for the sake of interest while dictators ruin truth to enhance their governing.  In my opinion, this play warns people probably from this perspective.

我大体认为莎翁给李尔设置的悲剧是对任何社会的人们的一种警示:我们在任何时候都要追求真实,无论是在什么位置上,无论是皇帝也好还是平民也好,真实永远是我们生活的主题.尤其在今天这样一个日新月异的社会里,许多人为了达到自己的私利不惜用假话来获得利益,独裁者们更是不惜用毁灭真理来巩固自己的统治,这出戏在这方面无疑给了人们以很贴切的警示.

6. How does it feel to be bringing the performance to Shakespeare’s home town?
将去莎翁的故乡演出,有何感想?

This really encourages me when I can act in Shakespeare’s hometown because his works is the wealth belongs to all human races. If I can go the origin of this wealth, it will definitely improve me a lot.

去莎翁的故乡巡演莎剧,很是一种鼓舞,因为毕竟,莎士比亚戏剧艺术是全人类共同的财富,能够去财富的发源地深究一番,对自己肯定是一次难得的提高机会.

7. Finally, if you were to summarise, what does Shakespeare mean to you?
最后,能否概括一下你对莎士比亚的看法。

Shakespeare is a great man. His devotion to man kind is not just for the Renaissances, it lasts forever.  He analyses deeply on human’s flaw which could be found in many plays like <Hamlet>,  <King Lear>, <Romeo and Juliet>, <Merchant of Venice> etc. which are my frequent topics. As an artist I do feel honoured  to have the chance joining this production.

莎翁是伟人,他对人类的贡献不仅体现在文艺复兴时期,更一直延伸到今天甚至永远.他对人性的特征尤其是种种弱点给予了深刻的刨析.他的剧作里这样的例子比比皆是.<哈姆雷特>,<李尔王>,<奥赛罗>,<罗密欧与茱莉叶>,<威尼斯商人>等等,我永远津津乐道.我为能有这次出演机会而感到一个艺术工作者的荣幸

 

 

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