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One man, two bosses, is a funny scenario

Updated: 2024-05-18 10:18 ( China Daily )
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Dong Wenliang (front) playing the lead role of the servant Truffaldino in rehearsals.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"With its fast-paced physical comedy, witty wordplay, and colorful characters, The Servant of Two Masters is very entertaining and will have audiences laughing from start to finish," says director Wang Jiannan, who works with the National Theatre of China.

Wang adds that what also makes the play a classic is that Goldoni preferred to try new ideas and styles, different to the mainstream style of writing comedy, known as commedia dell'arte, which was popular during his day. It is characterized by improvised dialogue and a cast of stock characters. This style emerged in Italy in the 15th century and rapidly gained popularity throughout Europe.

"Goldoni wanted to write representations of real life and people. He was credited with creating an innovative form of Italian character comedy," says Wang.

"When I did rehearsals, I couldn't help relating the classic story to our modern lives. There are many young people working two or even more jobs. I wonder what they experience in their lives and if they also have similar situations to Truffaldino," says Dong, 43, who was born in Beijing and graduated from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. He is an actor with the Beijing Quju Opera Troupe. Beijing Quju Opera is a traditional form of opera that is considered the only opera local to Beijing.

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