In the evening of May 29th, the 8th round of the NCPA drama Returning Home on a Snowy Night went on stage. The prosperous and bustling operatic teahouse, a gloomy and depressed mansion for officials, and ordinary lanes of the old Beijing inbuilt with warmness and leisure... The scenes like paints of the Republic of China era were brought to life in front of the audience. Actors ZHANG Qiuge, YU Shaoqun and CHENG Lisha, along with the NCPA Drama Ensemble represented by DONG Wenliang and WANG Haowei, has shown the audience the vicissitudes of the Republic of China period under the pen of WU Zuguang. The debut also raised the curtain of the NCPA International Theatre Festival 2018. For 110 days until September 15th, the festival, with well-planned programmes, will bring together renowned Chinese and foreign theatres from China, the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, Denmark, Austria, South Africa, etc., to deliver 84 performances of 20 excellent plays.
Returning Home on a Snowy Night unveiled the NCPA International Theatre Festival 2018
Photo by LING Feng
In the afternoon of May 29th, a press conference of NCPA International Theatre Festival 2018 was held at the NCPA. Guests attending included NCPA Artistic Director of the Theatre XU Xiaojian, director of NCPA production of Shakespeare’s drama The Tempest Tim Supple, and leading actor PU Cunxin, deputy director of China National Theatre for Children ZHAO Hanbing and scriptwriter of the well-known traditional Chinese operatic drama A Song of Guangling TANG Ling.
A press conference was held for NCPA International Theatre Festival 2018
Photo by WANG Xiaojing
The NCPA International Theatre Festival has delivered nearly 300 fascinating performances from 14 countries and regions since its debut in 2015, while remaining committed to bringing to audiences Chinese and international quality plays and building a platform of dialogue for excellent stage arts from all over the world.
Still of Returning Home on a Snowy Night
Photo by LING Feng
Themed “Past & Present, Theatre & Life”, the NCPA International Theatre Festival 2018 gathers representatives of drama masters in the past and present including Aristophanes, Moliere, Ibsen, Strindberg, etc. and organizes four sections based on the characteristics of dramas: “NCPA Production”, “Salute to Classics”, “Chinese Stories” and “NCPA International Children's Drama Festival”. Following Returning Home on a Snowy Night, the NCPA dramas A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest and The Birds will be put on successively in the “NCPA Production” section. What’s worth mentioning is that NCPA production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, with Royal Shakespeare Company’s Tim Supple as director and PU Cunxin as leading actor, will make its debut in the Festival.
Still of Scènes De La Vie Conjugale
Since its founding, the NCPA International Theatre Festival has presented many excellent foreign plays. On June 12th, the all-star drama Scènes De La Vie Conjugale commemorating the 100th anniversary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth will unlock the section “Salute to Classics”. Following that, Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, Moliere’s Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, Strindberg’s The Father will be staged successively in that section through performances by world-famous theatres, such as the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord and The Schaubühne Berlin, and artists Laetitia Casta, Juliette Binoche, ZHAO Lixin and JIN Xin, etc. Audiences will also travel through the legendary life of the French chanson singer Barbara in the novel-style musical drama Vaille Que Vivre.
This year, the festival has specially selected three works to illustrate Chinese stories - Chinese traditional opera A Song of Guangling, the Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre’s The Chinese Orphan and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre’s play SHANG Yang. The scriptwriter of A Song of Guangling TANG Ling said, “A Song of Guangling is a very special Chinese story that depicts the images of a group of Chinese ancient intellectuals represented by JI Kang and RUAN Ji, and covers the most Chinese symbols and emblems such as musical instrument, wine, poem and calligraphy.”
Danish Children's Drama Andersen's Fairy Tales
Still of Hansel and Gretel
The specially designed section “NCPA International Children's Drama Festival” will deliver children's dramas with more novel forms, diversified styles and varied subjects. There are popular fairy tale-themed dramas such as Journey to the West, The Magic Flute, Hansel and Gretel and My Primitive Family, as well as dramas equipped with frontier technologies and fantastic stage visual effects such as Danish Children's Drama Andersen's Fairy Tales, Me and My Shadow and Dark Circus, and the simple and sincere AHA! that catches happiness in ordinary lives.
As NCPA International Theatre Festival 2018 opened, the theatre-themed activities outside NCPA will also unfold successively. Starting from June, themed theatre lectures, dialogue salons, art exhibitions and theatre workshops will meet the audiences. Drama experts and scholars will speak with the public and ask them to step into the art world and spiritual world of drama masters including Bergman and Moliere. Moreover, creators and main performers of the plays will step down the stage and share their experiences of creation and rehearsals with the audience; by reading the script and other multiform methods, the audience can feel the charms of classic dramas and get closer to the drama stage.