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Good things come to those who wait

Updated: 2023-10-07 09:47 ( China Daily )
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A Chinese version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic musical The Phantom of the Opera is being staged at the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center in Beijing until Oct 29, as part of the 7th Lao She Theatre Festival. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"I feel close to Lao She's work and I read Rickshaw Boy over and over again for inspiration when I decided to adapt it into a play. It's about a man's journey from hope to hopeless. It's tragic but full of Lao She's unique sense of humor," says Fang, adding that elements, like contemporary paintings and live music, will be part of the play.

According to Yang Cheng, president of the Beijing Artists Management Corp and organizer of the festival, over 20 theatrical productions from around the world will be staged during the 7th Lao She Theatre Festival. These include The Wilderness by the Beijing People's Art Theater, which is based on a classic by Cao Yu (1910-96); an immersive play, Border Town, produced by the Drum Tower West Theatre and adapted from the 1934 novella of the same title by noted writer Shen Congwen (1902-88); and The Peony Pavilion by the Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre, which will be staged at the 300-year-old Zhengyici Theater in Beijing.

Since 2017, the festival has presented productions from 12 countries and regions, featuring nearly 200 performances and attracting over 100,000 theatergoers, Yang adds.

"When we launched the festival, we wanted to pay tribute to Lao She, whose works have inspired generations, and which have been adapted into plays, movies and TV dramas. In the past few years, it has developed into an international event," says Yang, adding that this year, the festival will feature a forum of theater experts and scholars from around the world.

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