Stage Play: Hamlet

Date:2009-03-05      Source:

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  • Hamlet
  • Hamlet

Presenter: Beijing People's Art Theatre 
Playwright: William Shakespeare
Director: Asari Keita (Japan)
Lead Cast: Wang Ban, Shi Lanya, Cheng Lisha, Xu Ang, Zhang Wankun, Liu Hui,Mi Tiezeng,Zou Jian and Wang Gang 
Venue: National Centre for the Performing Arts-Theatre 
Dates: March 11-15, 2009    19:30 
Price:  VIP    480    380    280    180    80 RMB

Programme Introduction
The spoken drama Hamlet by the Beijing People's Art Theatre (BPAT) "originates from Britain, is processed by Japanese and made in China". Asari Keita, the art director of Shiki Theatre Company from Japan, was invited to direct the said drama, the first time that a Japanese direct BPAT's drama. Shiki Theatre Company ranks among the largest troupes in Asia and staged Shakespeare's classics in 1968. Since then, Hamlet has remained the repertoire of the Company and been performed for over 600 times to date which are far more than numerous others performed by the Company.

The script of Hamlet by BPAT is based on Ying Ruocheng's translation which was modified in 7 places and reduced by 1/3 by Asari Keita, forming a more compact plot and more striking conflict. Asari Keita said: "this classic drama is full of modernity, and will better cater to modern audience's taste".

John Berry, the stage art design master from Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), designed all costumes, stage art and properties, creating unparalleled harmonious effects. Shining white lines, like course lines, extend far into the dark stage in a perspective manner. Pondering "to be or not to be", Hamlet comes from the shadow to the spotlight, unfolding a classic tragedy…    

Beijing People's Art Theatre
As a national theatre company of China, Beijing People's Art Theatre possesses its unique performing style. The theatre was established on June 12th, 1952, and the dramatist master Cao Yu was the theatre's first president. Ever since its establishment, the theatre has put on nearly 300 plays in different styles and they are domestic works in different times as well as works from different countries.

From 1950s to 1960s, the theatre was famous for putting on works by Guo Moruo, Lao She and Cao Yu. The representative productions include Tiger Tally, Cai Wenji, Wu Zetian, The Dragon Whisker's Ditch, Ricksha Man Xiangzi, The Teahouse, Thunderstorm, The Sunrise, Peking Man, The Death of a Popular Beijing Opera Singer, Guan Hanqing etc., and western plays like The Miser, Aesop, Even Wise Man Stumbles, People with Gun etc.. The renowned dramatist master Jiao Juyin once was the director general of the theatre and had cultivated a large group of acting artists with the representative of Yu Shizhi.

The theatre has put on more than 80 plays since 1980s, with a group of excellent young actors appearing. The plays include Wang Zhaojun, Warning Signals, Xiao Jing Hutong, Weddings and Funerals, Uncle Doggie's Nirvana, The Top Restaurant, Li Bai, Birds Men, Ga Lan Hutong, Beijing Masters, Antiques, Beyond Romance, Myriad Twinkling Lights, and The Orphan of the Zhao's etc.. The theatre put on the western plays including Der Besuch Der Alton Dame, Amadeus, Death of a Salesman, The Gin Game, and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial etc.. Among these, many has been performed for over 100 times, and given awards like the national "Wen Hua Award", "Five-one Best Works Award", and the Beijing municipal governmental "Gold Chrysthensem Award" and "Literature and Art Works Award" etc..

Beijing People's Art Theatre has performed all over the country in its half-century history, with its distinctive acting style rooted in the audiences. Besides, the performances of The Teahouse performed in Germany, France and Switzerland in 1980 was the beginning of Chinese spoken drama going abroad. Afterwards, The Teahouse, Wang Zhaojun, The Top Restaurant, The Death of a Salesman, Uncle Doggie's Nirvana, Birds Men, Ruan Lingyu, Antiques and Wuchang & Niudiao performed in Japan, Canada, Singapore, Korea, Egypt, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.
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