Eileen Chang's classic on stage at Peking University

2010-03-24 09:04 BJT


Red Rose and White Rose, another of Eileen Chang's works, was adapted for the stage in 2007. The play has now returned with a new round of performances at Peking University.

Set in Shanghai in the 1930's, the play is another Eileen Chang's work that probes into the war between the sexes.

Red Rose and White Rose, one of Eileen Chang's works, adapted for the stage in 2007, has now returned with a new round of performances at Peking University. 
Red Rose and White Rose, one of Eileen Chang's works, adapted for the stage in
2007, has now returned with a new round of performances at Peking University. 

The life of protagonist Zhenbao, torn by two women as well as by his sense and sensibilities, is realized on a stage divided by a glass corridor.

On one side, Zhenbao flirts with his secret lover,"Red Rose", while on the other, he curses his dull wife, "White Rose," and his monotonous life.

To further underscore the division, Zhenbao is played by two actors. Gao Hu plays his struggling inner self. Xin Baiqing plays Zhenbao's public persona.

Xin Baiqing, actor, said, "The womanizing Zhenbao hardly leaves any good impression on readers' minds. But through this kind of cooperation, another side of Zhenbao, a sometimes innocent young man who pursues romance, can be revealed to the audience. "

Tian Qinxin, director, said, "It is not an easy job to adapt an Eileen Chang's novel into a stage play. Most of her works are written in the third person and describe a lot about people's mental activities. By using two actors to play one character, I want audience to see clearly about Zhenbao's inner conflicts. "

The drama is the award-winning director's tribute to her favorite novelist. Tian Qinxin's almost reverential treatment reveals itself in the fact that most of the dialogue is taken directly from the original work.

The drama debuted in 2007 and has toured dozens of cities around China. Everywhere it has arrived, the play has been passionately received by the huge army of Eileen Chang's admirers.