Journey to the West gets modern touch

By Zhang Kun | | Updated: 2024-03-01 14:24
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The play  Journey to the West. [Photo provided to]

The Shanghai Dramatic Art Center's new adaptation of Journey to the West casts female actors in the two lead roles: the pilgrim monk Xuanzang and his first disciple, the Monkey King.

The play, which premiered on Feb 24, is directed by Roy Szeto Wai-cheuk, an international-award-winning theater artist from Hong Kong and stars 21 actors playing over 100 different roles. From the stage design and use of martial arts, to the folk opera choreography and a reorganized narrative that makes use of flashbacks, the play seeks to stimulate the interest of modern audiences in the familiar adventure story.

Written by Wu Cheng'en (1504-82), Journey to the West is one of the best-known Chinese literary classics, and has been widely adapted for film and theater, and Szeto felt that his mission was to find a new perspective from which to tell the story.

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