On August 9th, NCPA drama The Tempest made its debut and presented a magical world to the audience in Beijing. The play was presented with the joint efforts of famous British drama director Tim Supple, set designer LIU Xinglin, movement director WANG Yabin, music director Barry Ganberg and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare Folio Project. Actors PU Cunxin, LI Xiaomeng, DONG Wenliang, WANG Haowei, CAI Hongxiang, among others, all put on a splendid performance.
PU Cunxin played the Duke of Milan - Prospero
The Tempest tells a tale that the Duke of Milan, who is exiled to a desert island, takes back his throne with magic. Many core issues in Shakespeare’s plays are involved here: analysis of human nature in King Lear, the difference between the wilderness and the society in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the revenge in Hamlet.
The ship carrying the nobility sank due to the tempest
At the opening night, the circular stage that extended to the auditorium was covered by a large piece of black paper. On stage, a suspension bridge was hung in the air. In the centre sat Prospero (played by PU Cunxin), the owner of the desert island, also the former Duke of Milan. Silent and focused, he was waiting for a tempest. Ariel, a spirit who was under Prospero’s command, appeared on one side of the suspension bridge. He was about to call forth a tempest with magic to make the ship carrying Prospero’s enemies and the Neapolitan nobility stranded. Ariel quickly crossed the suspension bridge, woke up the storm, (which was represented by the black paper on stage), and with the help of sound and lighting effects, created a raging tempest that made Prospero thrilled. Then, as the ship sank, the black paper covered on the stage was torn by the frightened nobility and sailors. A magic journey dominated by Prospero began. After the tempest, Prospero embarked on a mission of revenge.
Under Prospero's command, the spirit woke up the storm
In the play, people were grouped by different with desires: rights, confession, love and revenge. They represent different attitudes toward the unknown world during the pioneering period: greed, awe, yearning, and conquest, all of which are written by Shakespeare in an ingenious way. Love awakens people's inner peace and forgiveness. Enemies repent and all things go back to the way they used to be. The process is tortuous, but the ending is happy.
Alonso and the nobility
Member of NCPA drama ensemble, including DONG Wenliang, WANG Haowei, ZHAO Ling, CHEN Xiwen, FENG Yang, WANG Qianyu, WU Song, YU Mengchao, etc., joined hands with invited actors such as PU Cunxin, LI Xiaomeng, CAI Hongxiang, giving an insightful portray of the characters with different personalities and purposes.
Spirits danced happily on the stage
The live music presented by live music directors, Barry Ganberg and Tulegur left a deep impression on the audience. With various forms of expressions such as African drums, guitar, finger piano and traditional Chinese Humai, ventriloquism, live singing and others, they made the play so fresh and vital and created one and another climax. In order to better shape the image of the spirits in this play, the movement director WANG Yabin designed the dance movements with music in particular.
The NCPA drama The Tempest will continue to be staged until August 15th .