Wu Hsing-kuo from the Contemporary Legend Theater stages a one-man version of King Lear. [Photo: China Daily]
"All the world's a stage; And all the men and women are merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts."
As William Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It, Wu Hsing-kuo will play many parts in his one-man version of the bard's King Lear.
The show will be staged in Shanghai for a midsummer's celebration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.
The Contemporary Legend Theater's version features the company's 61-year-old founder telling the story in three acts - Play, Playing and Player.
Wu has trained as a martial arts performer and Peking Opera singer since age 11. He also has played several leading male roles in dances.
He says he was inspired to take up the project not only by his professional involvement with various genres but also his personal experience of losing his parents at an early age.
In the play, Wu tears off his wig, robe and huge beard, and also tears down the boundaries between role and performer. Wu is both King Lear and himself when he shouts the angry lines at the top of his lungs.