Chinese culture to showcase at Edinburgh Festival

By Rory Howard
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 8, 2016
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Chinese culture is coming to an international audience at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August 5 to August 29). A program of shows from Chinese performers will introduce the international audience to Chinese drama; showcase several styles of Chinese opera; and mark four centuries since the passing of two important dramatists from opposite sides of the world: China's Tang Xianzu and Britain's William Shakespeare.

Director Wang Xiaoying's adaptation of Richard III being performed at the Globe Theatre, London. The Hunan Kunqu Opera Troupe will put on Wang's adaptation of "Romeo and Juliette" at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. [Photo/]

To mark the anniversary of Tang Xianzu's death, the Zhejiang Kunqu Opera Troupe will perform "The Peony Pavilion," which is one of Tang's most famous plays. This love story of romantic yearning is brought to life in a traditional Chinese Kunqu opera version, with English subtitles for the non-Chinese speaking audience.

Tang's work gets another outing in Jiangxi Ganju Opera Troupe's performance of a collection of scenes from "Four Dreams of Linchuan." This performance will be especially authentic, as the troupe is from Tang's place of birth.

The Hunan Kunqu Opera Troupe will retell Shakespeare's most famous love story "Romeo and Juliette."The story of tragic love will be performed in Kunqu opera style—a traditional form of Chinese singing. The adaptation is directed by Wang Xiaoying, whose 2012 production of "Richard III" at London's Globe Theatre received four stars from the Guardian, one of the UK's largest newspapers.

Another of Shakespeare's plays gets a Chinese makeover in ST@UIBE's "A Midsummer Night's Dreaming." The Beijing theatre company will use traditional Chinese theatre techniques, humor, music, and a contemporary setting to turn Shakespeare's classic tale of love and misunderstanding into an examination of love, gender, and the role of women in Chinese society.

Award-winning director Nicholas Barter and the Shanghai Theatre Academy will also bring a touch of 1920's Shanghai to their Chinese-inspired version of Shakespeare's comedy "As You Like It."

For more information about these performances—as well as other China-related performances in Edinburgh—visit the Edinburgh Fringe Festival website for full listings of show times and locations.

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