'Three-Body' trilogy book gets drama treatment

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The stage production The Three-Body Problem, based on the first book of Liu Cixin's sci-fi trilogy, will tour the country this summer. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"Unlike other sci-fi books I've read, The Three-Body trilogy contains not just elements of mystery, high technology and imagination but also depicts roles vividly.

"These expand the dimensions for stage drama, which is both exciting and challenging for us."

Liu Fangqi's vision of theater was broadened in France by watching pioneering theater works.

"So, for me, it is quite exciting to use the latest technology in theater."

He adds that after the success of adapting The Lost Tomb into a drama, his team gained rich experience in combining multimedia technology and special effects with theater.

"We've been approached by companies after The Lost Tomb to make sci-fi dramas, but we didn't take it up as we are waiting for a script, which, like The Three-Body trilogy, is strong enough for the stage," says Liu Fangqi.

In the drama, some characters, such as nanomaterials researcher Wang Miao, astrophysicist Ye Wenjie and Ye's husband, chief engineer Yang Weining, have been portrayed slightly differently from the way they appear in the novel.

As Liu Fangqi says, 85 percent of the play sticks to the original story and changes have been made only to make the story more vivid.

The team employs various technologies, including projection technology and 3-D mapping.

Additionally, a huge pyramid has been placed in the center of the stage with each facet displaying images of battle scenes between humans and aliens.

The play has received high marks from author Liu Cixin, who watched the show's premiere in Shanghai.

"We are grateful that he gave us lots of freedom during the process of the adaptation," says Liu Fangqi, who is working with his team on a second drama based on The Three-Body series.

"There are no limitations in theater as technology is progressing fast. The work we have done is just the beginning."

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