Richard III

Wang, Xiaoying 2012

Richard III (Li cha san shi), directed by WANG Xiaoying, The National Theatre of China (Beijing) | Premiered at the London Globe during the 2012 Globe to Globe Festival Read More

Macbeth

Chen, Dalian 2016

In 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the Chong Qing Theatre Company staged a new experimental production of the tragic play Macbeth. This adaptation written by Cai Fujun from the Art Institute of Fu Jian Province features only three performers, and the setting is a slaughterhouse which includes a pool of water in the center surrounded by a raised platform and thick chains hanging from the ceiling. Macbeth is played by a woman while Lady Macbeth is played by a man. However, their roles are reversed twice over the course of the play. A third actor plays the roles of Banquo, Macduff, and Fleance. The three witches do not appear on stage, but their voices are heard delivering the prophesies. The deaths of Duncan and Macbeth are represented by the running of electric saws with sparks flying. Read More

Macbeth Unplugged

Lu, Po Shen 2007 | 3 Comments

Interview with the director Lu Po-Shen (2005)

 

Commentary on this production:

In 2003 and 2007, the Tainaner Ensemble performed two adaptations of Macbeth in Taiwanese, the most frequently spoken local language in Taiwan other than Mandarin Chinese. Both adaptations, based on the same script, deleted the battle scenes and featured three witches as protagonists. The number of female characters thus increased, and additional care was taken to show female influences. These Taiwanese adaptations produced various tunes by addressing the rhyme, meter and tone of these compositions. Actors were required to find rhythm in their body movements and the voice of their characters. The female actors playing Lady Macbeth and the three witches also incorporated different vocal techniques into their speeches to enhance the rhythm. The female voices came to the forefront and complemented the feminine power in these adaptations. This article discusses how this female domination was established, and the ways that the coordination between physical and verbal actions equipped the female characters to create melody in their performances. The manifestation of these female voices offered the feminist reading of Macbeth to signify the female rise to power.

 

 

 

Lear Dreaming

Ong, Keng Sen 2012

Performed in Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Mandarin and Korean with English subtitles. Fifteen years after 1997, Ong Keng Sen revisits his Lear to create a new performance, distilled and visionary, entering one man’s mind, a past king and his memories: Lear Dreaming. Read More

The Tempest

Tsui, Hark; Wu, Hsing-kuo 2008

In Putonghua (or Mandarin) with Chinese and English surtitles. See also the 2004 staging of The Tempest directed by Tsui Hark and Wu Hsing-kuo.

News article about The Tempest production scheduled for the 2008 New Vision Arts Festival, held from Oct. 23 to Nov. 23, 2008.

More details about the October 24-25 performances of The Tempest at the 2008 New Vision Arts Festival.

Hamlet

Asari, Keita 2008

In summer 2008, famed Japanese director Keita Asari revived his adaptation of Hamlet and staged a new production with a Chinese cast from the Beijing People’s Art Theatre Company. The production premiered in October 2008 at the Beijing Capital Theatre. Read More

Coriolanus

Lin, Zhaohua 2007

Coriolanus was co-directed by Lin Zhaohua and Yi Liming and performed by the Beijing People’s Arts Theatre. Created in 2007, the production starred Pu Cunxi (as Coriolanus) and Xue Shan and was staged again in 2013 for the Edinburgh Festival.

 

 

 

Twelfth Night

Perng, Ching-hsi

Part of the Shashibiya Mingju Donghua (Animated Shakespeare) series.

The Tempest

Perng, Ching-hsi

Part of the Shashibiya Mingju Donghua (Animated Shakespeare) series.

The Tempest

Tsui, Hark; Wu, Hsing-kuo 2004

Co-directed by Wu Hsing-kuo and the Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark, the Tempest combined jingju, kunju, and Taiwan’s aboriginal dance, with a cinematic visual language to comment on the tension between the aboriginals and mainland Chinese immigrants to the island of Taiwan. Read More

Meili de Shashibiya (Beautiful Shakespeare)

Quintero, Craig 2003

Meili de Shashibiya (Beautiful Shakespeare), directed by Craig Quintero, is the fifth show in the Shakespeare in Taipei series. The production was performed in the 2003  Shakespeare in Taiwan Theatre Festival at the National Experimental Theatre, Taipei, Taiwan. Read More

Flower from the Other Shore

Zhang, Jian 2001

Flower from the Other Shore is a production of Romeo and Juliet performed by the Holo Taiwanese Opera Troupe in 2001.

 

 

Romeo and Juliet

Perng, Ching-hsi

Part of the Shashibiya Mingju Donghua (Animated Shakespeare) series.

Richard III

Perng, Ching-hsi

Part of the Shashibiya Mingju Donghua (Animated Shakespeare) series.

Li cha san shi (Richard III)

Lin, Zhaohua 2001

Richard III (2001) was directed by Lin Zhaohua and produced by the Lin Zhaohua Workshop, Central Experimental Spoken Drama Company and the Arts College, Sun Wen University. Lin used the Chinese translations of the play by ZHU Shenghao and LIANG Shiqiu. Read More

Othello

Perng, Ching-hsi

Part of the Shashibiya Mingju Donghua (Animated Shakespeare) series.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Yang, Shipeng (Daniel) 2000

This production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was directed by Daniel Wang in 2000 and performed by the Hong Kong Huaju Company. Read More

Macbeth

Perng, Ching-hsi

Part of the Shashibiya Mingju Donghua (Animated Shakespeare) series.

Ma ke bo si

Li, Zibo; Xu, Xiaozhong 1980

In the 1980 Macbeth, Xu Xiaozhong, another 1950s Moscow-trained director, drew a parallel between the socialist new China and the Renaissance idealized by Engels. Xu’s vision of Macbeth was as “a giant” who “wanders, stumbles and eventually drowns in … whirlpools of blood.” [Note 9] The “giant” image derived from Engels, and the image of “stumbling” came from Marx’s description of Louis Napoleon. [Note 10] Xu followed Shakespeare in showing that Macbeth “is destroyed by his own individual ambition.” Xu’s interpretation emphasized, however, that Macbeth had the potential to become a revered national hero. Yet Macbeth, in addition to ruining himself, ruined his country: “Macbeth is also a tragedy of the people. Shakespeare reveals that a careerist and tyrant like Macbeth can bring disaster to his ancestral land and its people” (Xu Xiaozhong 1996, 243). Citing Marx and Soviet Shakespeareans, Xu declared: “Shakespeare not only wrote a tragedy about an individual, it was more a tragedy of history at a turning point” (1996, 240).

In China, theatre is expected to propagandize the government’s policies, and there were suggestions that Xu’s production represented an attack on the “Gang of Four” whose trial was then in progress. Although this would have been politically astute, Xu rejected such “high praise.” Xu had a strong social consciousness and wanted to deal with the serious questions facing China. As a sincere believer in Marx and Engels’s writings on realism, he would not simply echo current Party propaganda. Nor, however, was he content with Kott’s idea of “Shakespeare our contemporary,” since Xu accepted Marx’s view that dramatic characters should not be reduced to “mere mouthpieces of the spirit of the times.” Nonetheless, striking parallels emerged through Xu’s staging between Macbeth and the leaders, not excluding Mao himself, whose hubris had been responsible for so many disasters in China.

 

Kingdom of Desire

Wu, Hsing-kuo 1986 | One Comment

During the Eastern Chou Dynasty of the Warring State when feudalism was at its peak. The nation of Chi fell prey to the greed and ambitions of the Lord Chancellor, Wei Lie-Bo. East City Defender, Au-Shu, and his deputy, Meng, were called upon to settle the disputes. Read More

Makebai furen (Lady Macbeth)

Cao, Ping 2001

Makebai furen (Lady Macbeth) is an adaptation of Macbeth from Taiwan. The 2001 production featured Tian Mansha as Lady Macbeth and actors from the Sichuan Youth Chuanju Opera Company and was directed by Cao Ping. Read More

King Qi’s Dream

Ou, Yangming 1995

King Qi’s Dream is an adaptation of King Lear performed in the Beijing Opera style and directed by Ou Yangming. In an ancient Kingdom there lives an old king. One day announce a big decision to divide his kingdom into three parts for his three daughters to govern. His two elder daughters agree with their father and so they obtained their land. But his youngest daughter gets no land for she opposes his idea. Years later the two elder daughters drives their father out, making him wander in the wild. His loyal subjects, Kun Fu and Xue Ying (his youngest daughter), saves his life. He wants to take back his power and kingdom but it is too late for one of his officials has taken over the power to rule the kingdom. Read More

Li’er zaici (Lear is Here)

Wu, Hsing-kuo 2001 | 2 Comments

In 2001, Wu Hsing-kuo, the artistic director of the Contemporary Legend Theatre (CLT, Taipei), returned to the stage after disbanding his company two years earlier. His solo performance of King Lear reflects his own personal struggle to rediscover his own identity as an actor and to define the mission of the CLT in the 21st century. Read More

Maze, Spectacle, and Music: King Lear

Fu, Hongzheng 2003

A creative interpretation of Shakespeare’s King Lear through percussion music, drumming, and dance. The production is also known as “Drumming with Lear.” The performance emphasized physical expressions of strong emotions. Read More

King Lear

Tse, David 2006 | 4 Comments

Lear hands over control of his global business empire to his daughters. In his Shanghai penthouse, he asks them to justify their inheritance. The older sisters flatter their father in elegant Chinese but English educated Cordelia, no longer fluent in her father’s tongue, says “Nothing” and the loss of face sends Lear into a spiral of fury and madness. Read More

Lear

Ong, Keng Sen 1997 | One Comment

Ong Keng Sen’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s King Lear brings artists from Japan, Thailand, China and Indonesia to work together on this intercultural and collaborative piece that toured Asia & Europe. Read More

Hamulaite

Lin, Zhaohua 1995

This production of Hamlet proposes the idea that anyone can play the iconic character of Hamlet. The production has the same actor play multiple roles. Hamlet is played by three different actors at various points in the performance. The production also draws references to film adaptions of Hamlet. Read More

Wangzi fuchou ji (The Revenge of the Prince)

Su, Leci 1994

Wangzi fuchou ji (The Revenge of the Prince) was a 1994 Yueju adaptation of Hamlet directed by Su Leci which was performed at the Shanghai International Shakespeare Festival. Xue Yunhuang was the script writer. The actor who played Hamlet was yueju star Zhao Zhigang. Read the essay “Hamlet in China: Translation, Interpretation and Performance” by Ruru Li for additional information about this production. Read More

Curse of the Golden Flower

Zhang, Yimou 2006

In 928 A.D. a power struggle emerges in the palace of China’s emperor (Chow Yun-Fat). A cruel man, he is secretly having his wife (Gong Li) poisoned with a substance that will eventually drive her insane. Meanwhile the empress is having an affair with Prince Wan (Ye Liu), her husband’s son from a previous marriage. But the prince secretly wishes to run away with Chan (Li Man), the daughter of the imperial doctor. Read More

The Banquet

Feng, Xiaogang 2006

The Banquet is a 2006 Chinese film, also known as Legend of the Black Scorpion. It is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and is set in 10th century China. Read More

Hamlet

Perng, Ching-hsi 2004

Part of the Shashibiya Mingju Donghua (Animated Shakespeare) series.