Main­land ready for mu­si­cal from HK

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By ZHANGKUNin Shang­hai zhangkun@chi­

A Hong Kong stage adap­ta­tion of theChi­nese folk tale of the “but­ter­fly lovers” with a mod­ern twist is com­ing to the main­land soon.

The Art School Mu­si­cal has been pro­duced by Ed­ward Lam, a Hong Kong-based the­ater di­rec­tor, es­say­ist and art ed­u­ca­tor, and will be staged in Shang­hai over April 1-3.

When the pro­duc­tion premiered in Hong Kong in 2014, crit­ics saw it as a suc­cess­ful case of re-cre­at­ing an age-old folk tale in the mod­ern-day world.

The mu­si­cal’s main char­ac­ters are in­her­i­tors of cul­tural relics, and the play is a dis­cus­sion of art, dreams, life and eternity.

LiangWeishi, an es­say­ist in Hong Kong, praised the pro­duc­tion as a “new­model for Chi­nese mu­si­cals”.

Lam has been ac­tive on Hong Kong’s cul­tural scene for more than 20 years. His adap­ta­tion of Eileen Chang’s Red Rose, White Rose won the best screen­play at the Tai­wan Gold­enHorse Awards in 1994. Since then he has been de­voted to the the­ater scene in Hong Kong, work­ing with artists and di­verse in­sti­tu­tions.

The an­cient story of the “but­ter­fly lovers” is about a young woman dressed as a man in or­der to gain ac­cess to a cel­e­brated school. She and a school­mate fall in love, but the star-crossed lovers are forced to sep­a­rate, only to be re­united in death, when they turn into but­ter­flies, fly­ing freely and hap­pily to­gether.

The tale has been one of the most en­dur­ing and cel­e­brated folk love sto­ries in China. It has been passed on from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion over more than 1,000 years.

The most fa­mous adap­ta­tion is a vi­olin con­certo of the same ti­tle by ChenGan­gandHe Zhan­hao in 1959.

YetLamwasin­spired by aChi­nese film adap­ta­tion by Li Han-hsiang in the 1960s, ti­tled The Love Eterne.

Lam was im­pressed by Li’s pre­sen­ta­tion of hero­ine Zhu Ying­tai as an in­de­pen­dent and in­tel­li­gent woman who is ready to learn and love.

In Lam’s play, the mod­ern-age Zhu no longer has to dress as a man in or­der to be ad­mit­ted to a pub­lic school, but it is the hero, Liang Shanbo, who con­stantly hides his true self be­hind an in­vis­i­ble mask to gain re­spect, win his loved one’s heart and sim­ply boost his self-con­fi­dence.

Lam at­trib­uted the tale’s en­dur­ing pop­u­lar­ity to the rar­ity of youth­ful love in a tra­di­tional pa­tri­ar­chal so­ci­ety.

The pur­suit for in­di­vid­ual val­ues and free­dom is “never out­dated”, he says.

All the songs in the mu­si­cal, other than Self Por­trait by French poet Fran­cois Vil­lon, have been com­posed by Chen Jianyi from Tai­wan.

Jor­dan Cheng, from Ma­cao, and Mar­garet Che­ung, who was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Aus­tralia, are twoa­mongthe play’s 18 main ac­tors.

Al­though both have de­vel­oped a suc­cess­ful port­fo­lio while per­form­ing in mu­si­cals, this will be Cheng’s first main­land stage event.


Ed­ward Lam, Hong Kong the­ater di­rec­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.