Looking West to Chang’an is a five-act satire comedy authored by the Chinese writer Laoshe on the basis of “the First Political Fraud Case of the New China” in 1956. The comedy tells an absurd and thought-provoking tale. With mean trickery, leading role LI Wancheng forges his personal details and CV to get official posts. People place trust in him with credulity and degrade into cat's paws to help him garner fame and fortune. And some victims even help the deceiver get married. Until a few vigilant comrades become aware of his deception, so the public security organ investigates and cracks down on the criminal case. In vivid and humorous style, Laoshe depicts a dozen figures with distinctive characters. The whole drama demonstrates strong irony and practical significance.
In July 1955, when the Second Session of the First National People’s Congress was held, LUO Ruiqing (Minister of Public Security) revealed a deceiver LI Wanming’s crime in his speech: From 1951 onwards, the liar wandered about a dozen domestic cities and intruded into important governmental organs within four years. He not only pretended to be a combat hero, but also served important positions in state organs.
Presenter: WANG Ning
Art Director: XU Xiaozhong
Chief Producer: ZHAO Tiechun
Chief Managing Producers: LI Zhixiang, ZHAO Tiechun, ZHU Jing, WANG Cheng, GONG Jicheng
Stage Director: YUAN Jinhong
Set Designer: LI Bin
Lighting Designer: KONG Yifan
Costume Designer: NING Fangguo
Make-up Designer: LIN Ying
Props Designer: JIN Jifeng
Sound Designer: WANG Lei
Movement Designer: GUO Shuang
LI Wancheng: MIAO Fu＊
JING Youzhong: GUO Shuojie
CHENG Erli/JIN Dan: LIU Beibei
YANG Zhuguo: FENG Yang
PING Yiqi/ FENG Futing: MA Qinglong＊
Mrs. LIN/ DU Renxian: WANG Yiqing
BU Xilin/WANG Lemin: CHEN Xiwen
LIN Shutong: MENG Yu
DA Yuqin: WANG Qianyu
MA Zhao: LIU Wenyi
TANG Shiqing: LI Zhaoyang
＊Stands for Guest Artists
LI proclaims that he used to be chief of staff in a regiment, and has served at the front in Huaihai Campaign. When he fought against enemies in a hand-to-hand combat, his left leg was wounded. A bullet was also left in his neck. He is hailed as “hero” by common folks, and takes the post of section member of Ankang Civil Affairs Branch. Then he is sent to the Northwest Cadre Training Class to learn agricultural technology.
After a month, LI lies, saying, “The Organization Department of Military and Political University will send me to accept military training in central and southern regions to join battle in War to Resist the US Aggression and Aid Korea.” Other trainees admire him very much and give an impassioned farewell party. An admirer makes a walking stick out of mahogany to help him walk stably.
Upon arrival in the central and southern regions, LI claims that he has just returned from the battleground of War to Resist the US Aggression and Aid Korea. Accordingly, he wins an honorary title, “Battle Hero of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army”. He crows about his heroic deeds of hand-to-hand combat against two American soldiers. Pretty DA Yuqin worship heroes since childhood, and she wishes to marry him. She adores LI’s so-called heroic experiences and falls in love with him. She believes all that LI has told her, and thinks he will become an even greater hero. After leaders act as go-between, DA gets married to LI. Immediately, LI claims that previous leaders intend to transfer him to Beijing, and his application for job transfer has been approved.
LI is transferred as section chief of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Beijing. However, he is always hospitalized on the excuse of poor health. Encouraged by LI’s brave spirit, JING Youzhong also joins battle in War to Resist the US Aggression and Aid Korea. After JING is transferred to civilian work from the army, he also assumes a post in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. JING encounters LI again, but he has doubts of LI’s words and deeds. Therefore, he turns into a whistle-blower. But DA obstructs him in every possible way. Meanwhile, LI claims that the army has mobilised him to attend a military meeting in Lanzhou, and he departs from Beijing.
LI makes an excuse to meet his old friend — Director Yang of Agricultural and Forestry Institute, but he heads for Xi’an from Lanzhou. He hardly realizes that the Public Security Department of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has begun to suspect and investigate his details. After Director Lin of Department of Agriculture and Forestry and trainees of Northwest Cadre Training Class hand over evidence, with references to archives and documents, TANG Shiqing, an official of the Public Security Department, “draws a snake out of its hole”, and sheds LI’s swindle into to the light. Finally, the liar confesses to his crime of posing as a hero.
MIAO Fuas LI Wancheng
GUO Shuojieas JING Youzhong
MIAO Fu, born in Shaanxi, is the founder of the Shaanxi Youth Folk Arts Club. Since its founding, many performances have been given on campus annually. Over the years, he has been devoted to spreading traditional folk art and traditional culture to more young people. His representative works include: crosstalk Talking About Etiquette, An Encyclopedic Mind, Wrong Criticism of Shan Hai Jing, drama Mountains as Proof, Rescue 109, Taipei at Midnight and Longmen Funny Stories, etc. He was the winner of New Artist Award of the 8th China Quyi Peony Awards and Five Best Performer of the 7th National Television Crosstalk Competition in 2014, in which his work An Encyclopedic Mind had won him the Golden Prize.
LIU Beibeias CHENG Erli/JIN Dan
GUO Shuojie is a member of NCPA Drama Ensemble. Graduating from the Central Academy of Drama, he has performed in NCPA dramas A Mid-summer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Look West to Chang'an, King Lear, The Birds, NCPA Drama Commission The LEI Family, the Royal Architects, NCPA drama commission Jane Eyre. His representative works of films and TV dramas include Monster Hunt, Dating Times, Fallling Down and Firm of Sweet Guys.
FENG Yangas YANG Zhuguo
LIU Beibei is a member of NCPA Drama Ensemble. She has performed in NCPA dramas A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Look West to Chang'an, The Birds, The LEI Family, the Royal Architects and The Tempest. She graduated from Shandong College of Arts, majoring in drama film and television performance. Her representative works of stage play include Be A Rich Man, Jiu’er, Thunderstorm, The Rickshaw Boy, The Peach Blossom Fan, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Desire Under the Elms, and A Woman Alone (monologue). Her representative works of films and TV dramas include Fiji Love, Tease Me and The Truth.
MA Qinglongas PING Yiqi/ FENG Futing
A member of NCPA Drama Ensemble
FENG Yang graduated from the Central Academy of Drama, majoring in drama film and television performance. He has performed in NCPA dramas A Mid-summer Night's Dream, Returning Home on A Snowy Night and The Merchant of Venice.
His representative works of stage play include Golden Mille Dream, Macbeth; Chinese Class, The Show Must Go On, Wild Duck and Childhood.
WANG Yiqingas Mrs.LIN/ DU Renxian
As an actor, he has acted in a number of NCPA productions including dramas Wangfujing, Jane Eyre and Hamlet and the opera La Cenerentola.
He graduated from the Department of Performing Arts, Beijing Institute of Performing Arts. He has appeared in TV plays In the Dream to Find the Answer, Singing While Drinking and Signal Fire of the Great Wall, as well as the films Examiness and The Insanity, etc.
CHEN Xiwenas BU Xilin/WANG Lemin
She is an actress of the NCPA Drama Ensemble. She performed in NCPA productions Wangfujing, A Doll's House, Returning Home on a Snowy Night, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, The Birds, Jane Eyre, The Lei Family and Look West to Chang'an. She is a graduate in acting at the Beijing Film Academy. Her representative works of films and TV dramas include Hey, Kids, Sweet Life; TV series Love is Not Blind, Country Love 2, The Bronze Teeth 4, The Pigeon Whistle; film The Notary: Death of David.
MENG Yuas LIN Shutong
CHEN Xiwen is a member of NCPA Drama Ensemble. He has performed in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, Look West to Chang'an, The Birds, The LEI Family, the Royal Architects, The Tempest, Jane Eyre, etc.
Graduating from the Beijing Film Academy, he has starred in dramas And Then There Were None, No Easy Money, Hello and Goodbye, The Beautiful Blue Danube, and webisode Love is Not Blind.
WANG Qianyuas DA Yuqin
MENG Yu has performed in NCPA dramas and opera Jane Eyre, The LEI Family, the Royal Architects, Returning Home on a Snowy Night and The Red Guards on Honghu Lake, etc. He graduated from the Department of Performing Arts, Beijing Film Academy. His representative dramas include Please Forget Me Tonight, The Football Club, Comedy in the Dark, A Broken Man, Devils on the Doorstep and Life and Death; films: The Legend of the Shurangama Sutra, Battle of Memories and Once Upon A Time In Sichuan; webisode: The Private Interpreter of the Influential Childe; micro film: Wish in Two Cups of Coffee; TV film: Boiled Fish; TV plays: Famous for Flower Drum, Huang Feihong and Lady Shisanyi and The Flying Tigers, etc.
LIU Wenyias MA Zhao
WANG Qianyu is an artist at the NCPA Drama Ensemble, and had a role in NCPA dramas including: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Look West to Chang’an, A Doll’s House, The Birds, Jane Eyre, The LEI Family, the Royal Architects, The Tempest, etc. She graduated from the Department of Performing Arts, Shanghai Theatre Academy. She went to Romania in 2010 to attend the Hamlet International Theatre Festival, winning the title, “the best actress” and went to France in 2012 to attend the Avignon International Theatre Festival. Her representative works and dramas include The Murder of Hanging Garden, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, First Love, Guns, Lies and Roses, Roméo et Juliette, Flower in the Mirror and Moon in the Water, The Illusion, Shakespeare’s Fragmentary Love, Descendants of the Zheng He and Run, Mia; musical include Monk Hongyi; films include New Song of Youth and The Legend of the Shurangama Sutra.
LI Zhaoyangas TANG Shiqing
LIU Wenyi is a member of NCPA Drama Ensemble. She graduated from the Central Academy of Drama, majoring in drama film and television directing. She has performed in NCPA dramas A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Look West to Chang'an, King Lear, The Birds,The LEI Family, the Royal Architects, The Tempest, etc.
Her representative works of stage play include Annie’s Diary, As A Shadow, Return, If I were not Me, I Am not A Bodyguard, One Night in Beijing, See You Tomorrow, Go away Mr. Tumour, Fisheye Lens, Daddy and Open the Door.
LI Zhaoyang is a member of NCPA Drama Ensemble. Graduating from the Beijing Film Academy, he has performed in NCPA dramas A Mid-summer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Returning Home on a Snowy Night, The Merchant of Venice, NCPA Drama Commission The LEI Family, Jane Eyre, etc. His representative works of stage play include Mu Chun, Happy Dinner, and Twelfth Night. His representative works of films and TV dramas include Food to Pregnant, Life with a Little Sweet, Hey Kids and Abnormal Cases.