Beijing People’s Art Theatre The Visit

Date:2019-04-15      Source:National Centre for the Performing Arts

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Venue: Theatre
Dates: April 18—21, 2019


The story takes place in the mid-1950s, the whole city of Güllen is under threat of poverty and hunger. Female billionaire Lady Claire goes home with honours, becoming the only hope for the city. Claire declares that she will give one billion Swiss francs to the citizens, but they must kill her former lover Alfred Ill. 45 years ago, he reduces Claire to a homeless prostitute by hiring a witness to fabricate false evidence.

The mayor refuses Claire’s request on behalf of all citizens. However, a subtle change has taken place in the public. People start to rush to go on spending sprees as if they had become rich, and even Alfred Ill’s children are no exception. It seems that there is an invisible power controlling everything. Claire is waiting in silence. Alfred Ill realizes in horror that he has come closer to death’s door...

Playwright: Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Production Translator: YE Tingfang
Stage Director: LAN Tianye
Revival Stage Directors: LAN Tianye, LIU Xiaorong
Set Design Counselor : HUANG Yongyu
Set Designer: SHEN Ao
Lighting Designer: MENG Bin
Costume Designer: YAN Ni
Make-up Designer: YING Shu
Effect Designer: ZHENG Chen

Claire Zachanassian: CHEN Xiaoyi
Husbands VII-IX (Moby, Hoby and Zoby): JIN Han
Butler: YANG Pingyou
Toby (Carrier A): ZHANG Boyu
Roby (Carrier B): ZHAO Zhiheng
Koby (Blind A): LIU Bing
Loby (Blind B): WEN Bo

Alfred Ill: PU Cunxi
Mrs. Alfred Ill: XIA Liyan
Son of Alfred Ill: WANG Ning
Daughter of Alfred Ill: ZHANG Diandian
Mayor: ZOU Jian
Schoolmaster: LI Lin
Priest: ZHANG Fuyuan
Doctor: CONG Lin
Policeman: HE Jing
Citizen A: LI Po
Citizen B: ZHANG Hansheng
Citizen C: ZHU Xiaopeng
Citizen D: LIAN Xudong
Painter: WANG Ning
Woman A: WEI Xiaojun
Woman B: ZHANG Hua
Woman C: TAN Jing
Woman D: LIU Yanjun
Fighter: SUN Yuhao
Granddaughter A of the Mayor: HAN Qing
Granddaughter B of the Mayor: LIU Yanjun

Station Agent: LIU Beibo
Train Conductor: GUO Wei
Revenuer: WANG Jiajun
The elder playing the violin: AI Xinyi
The little girl: LIU Yanjun
Reporter A: WEI Xiaojun
Reporter B: HAN Qing
Radio Commentator: LIU Beibo
Videographer: WANG Jiajun


Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Friedrich Dürrenmatt is an important contemporary dramatist and novelist. In the West, he is even mentioned in the same breath as the greats - Aristophanes, Ibsen and Bernard Shaw.

Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born into a priest’s family in Konolfingen, Bern, Switzerland in January 1921, and learned theology, philosophy and literature in Bern and Zurich. His major achievements were made in drama circles, his masterpieces including: Romulus der Große, Die Ehe des Herrn Mississippi, The Visit, Frank der Fünfte, Die Physiker and Der Meteor, of which The Visit and Die Physiker have cemented his position in contemporary world literature circles.

Since the 1950s, his scripts have been staged in many countries worldwide, and all of his works have been put on stage in some countries. Also, his plays have been translated into about 40 languages.

Dürrenmatt mainly wrote tragicomedy. That is, he wrote a tragedy in a comedy way, “The story is funny, whereas the characters are the opposite. They are tragic...” The Visit is typical of his unique “tragicomical style”. The technique of expression adopted in the play is neither exaggeration nor bantering that is common in comedies, but just plain “weirdness”.


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. Its repertoire's great diversity in theme, superb and rigorous stagecraft, artistic style of great subtlety and emotional depth are very impressive to audience.

From 1950s to 1960s, the theatre was famous for putting on works by GUO Moruo, Laoshe, CAO Yu and TIAN Han. 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.

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, Ireland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.

The theatre company now has three theatres mainly for drama performances: the Capital Theatre, the Mini Theatre, and the Experimental Theatre. The theatre's stage art center has a professional producing base, which could make settings, costumes and props for the theatre itself and other performing troupes.