Real life tales in­spire drama about el­derly

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - MUSIC - By CHEN NAN chen­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Now in his 60s, re­tired Na­tional Theater of China ac­tor Ma Yingchun has made his di­rec­to­rial de­but with the the­atri­cal drama To the El­derly with Love, which as it ti­tle sug­gests fo­cuses on the lives of the el­derly in China.

Run­ning from Oct 11 to 15 at Bei­jing’s West Theater, the drama, writ­ten by Ma, tells the story of a re­tired for­est keeper, Kang Qing­song, who comes to Bei­jing to visit his son. How­ever, Kang’s ar­rival stirs con­flict with his son, who is mar­ried and lives with his wife’s par­ents.

“I am a re­tired ac­tor and I have many friends of my age. I’ve know their sto­ries first­hand, such as lone­li­ness, a grad­ual loss of con­nec­tion with the cur­rent so­ci­ety and their dis­tance from their chil­dren, even a strug­gle to sur­vive,” says Ma.

“Peo­ple rarely pay at­ten­tion to the prob­lems el­derly peo­ple face, and I want to put them in the spot­light with this drama. I want to raise aware­ness about the sit­u­a­tion of the el­derly, es­pe­cially among young peo­ple, so they think about their re­la­tion­ship with their par­ents.”

Ma per­formed in many films, TV se­ries and plays. In one TV drama, also ti­tled To the El­derly with Love, he played a re­tired man who is sent to a care home by his son.

“Once the el­derly can no longer work, they’re con­sid­ered to be a bur­den, and some even die from lack of care. In the se­nior home, which was por­trayed in the TV drama, they watch out for each other but their chil­dren rarely visit them. That TV drama made me think,” says Ma.

Though he has re­tired from act­ing for the Na­tional Theater of China for a few years, Ma has not

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slowed down and his re­cent per­for­mance in the drama, Bei­jing Fayuan Tem­ple, which was writ­ten and di­rected by renowned stage di­rec­tor Tian Qinxin, re­ceived a warm response from au­di­ences. In it, Ma plays a royal min­is­ter at the end of the Qing Dy­nasty (16441911).

Ac­cord­ing to Tong Yu, pro­moter of Ma’s drama, To the El­derly with Love is the first in a tril­ogy ex­plor­ing the lives of el­derly peo­ple in China.

The drama stars ac­tors and actresses from the Na­tional Theater of China and the China Na­tional Theater for Chil­dren.

After its pre­mier in Bei­jing, the drama will go on a 20-city tour across the coun­try and will re­turn to Bei­jing for a run at the Drum Tower West Theater from Nov 8 to 12.

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

Ac­tor Ma Yingchun has made his di­rec­to­rial de­but with the the­atri­cal drama To the El­derly with Love in his 60s.

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