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Drama in the capital

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-14 14:19

Shanghai Yueju Opera Theater's show, A Dream of the Red Mansions, which was based on a Chinese novel with the same title written in the 18th century, premiered in 1958 and will launch a national tour this year to mark its 60th anniversary. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A Dream of the Red Mansions is being staged in Beijing as a part of the upcoming NCPA Yueju Opera Week.

In February 1958, the Shanghai Yueju Opera Theater premiered a new production, A Dream of the Red Mansions, based on a Chinese novel of the same title written in the 18th century by Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) writer Cao Xueqin.

The production ran for more than 50 sold-out shows and then toured nationwide.

In 1959, the production made its debut in Beijing for the 10th anniversary celebrations of the founding of New China.

And, in 1962, the production was made into a two-episode film featuring the same cast.

The two leading actresses of the show, Wang Wenjuan and Xu Yulan, became national stars thanks to the performance in the capital then, which was watched and highly praised by the late Premier Zhou Enlai.

Speaking about the Beijing show, Wang, now 92, says: "We were all young actors then and it was a very exciting moment in my career."

Now, to mark the 60th anniversary of the premiere of A Dream of the Red Mansions, a new tour is being launched by the Shanghai Yueju Opera Theater.

From April 14 to 17, the company will stage the show at National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

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