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July 18, 2019

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One-man comedy about little brilliant things

IT’S the little things that make the happy moments, not the grand events, as the one-man comedy “Every Brilliant Thing” is being staged at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center.

Spanning around three decades, the play tells of a man who would make a list of the little brilliant things that happen in everyday life. He then shows the list to his suicidal mother, hoping she could find reasons to live on.

In total, he records 1,000,000 things, including eating slices of yellow peach, watching TV sneakily, and having a water flight with friends. These small life-enhancing things also encourage him to find hope, as he too suffers from depression.

“I really appreciated the play,” said a female member of the audience in an after performance discussion.

“I have had depression for two years. Before seeing the play, I never thought that I would say it in the public. I see myself in the show, as if someone has recorded my life over the last two years. I will try making a record of every brilliant thing in my life.”

The play was originally written by Duncan Macmillan. The acclaimed Chinese version is adapted by Chen Tianran, who added many local cultural elements, such as an antique radio and old songs.

With seating on three sides of the stage, “Every Brilliant Thing” creates a deep connection with the audience.

Entering the theater, people are no longer simply observers. Instead, they are participators and an indispensable part of the performance.


Date: Through August 4, Monday-Saturday 7:30pm; Sunday 2pm

Tickets: 150-250 yuan

Tel: 5465-6200

Venue: Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center

Address: 288 Anfu Rd


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