Actor Pu Cunxin (L), playing Caius Martius in a Chinese rendition of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, performs at the Beijing Capital Theater on November 27, 2007.
It might be hard to imagine a Shakespearean stage play supported by heavy metal music. Nevertheless, Chinese director Lin Zhaohua wanted to prove that this novel combination could actually be a modern hit.
Lin's new work, a rendition of Shakespeare's tragic play Coriolanus, opened on Tuesday at the Beijing Capital Theater. The play is underscored by deafening live music by Miserable Faith and Suffocated, two leading bands on Chinese metal rock music scene.
Lin, who presented the play alongside director Yi Liming, calls it a blend of classical and modern arts.
Coriolanus is a tragedy revolving around a brilliant general, Caius Martius, set in ancient Rome. As the story develops, the two rock bands are embroidered along. At one point, the band members even join the performers on stage, creating an ambiance that many viewers called a seamless bonding of music and plot.
The lead role of the general Martius was played by Pu Cunxin, one of China's most well-known dramatic actors. His impromptu-rich performance won much applause from the audience.
In the original play, there are a lot of ordinary Roman citizens featured. In the Chinese version, these characters were excellently portrayed by villagers recruited from outside Beijing, whose typecasting also won a thumbs-up from the audience.
After watching the show, veteran theatrical director Li Liuyi also offered his praise, saying the work will have a profound impact on the Chinese stage.
The show is being presented by the Beijing People's Art Theater group as a tribute to the century-old modern Chinese drama.
It will run at the Capital Theater until December 16.
(CRIENGLISH.com November 30, 2007)