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'Spin' on media and murder in Expo musical

GEORG Malvius is in China for the first time and he has already been in Shanghai for more than a month.

The veteran Swedish musical director has brought to Shanghai one of his favorite works, "Spin," an original musical by Finland's ACE Production.

In collaboration with Shanghai Drama Arts Center, the Mandarin version of "Spin" made its debut in the city last week. On May 29, it will also be staged in the Expo Center as part of the celebration of Finland Pavilion Day.

"If you think the play is good, give loud applause to the actors; if you think it's bad, blame it on me," jokes Malvius. "We try our best to make sure that you won't regret buying the ticket."

The show features an international cast: The 23 professional musical actors have been selected from local theater companies and music schools; the music director is from China and the choreographer from Hungary; the sounds specialist comes from Finland and the lighting engineer from Sweden.

Premiered in 2007, "Spin" has been staged for more than 100 performances around the world. "However, it has never been performed in such an innovative, collaborative way," the director points out.

"Spin" tells an intriguing story which exposes the power behind the media. At risk of his life, Daniel Jackson, a young music journalist, discovers the dubious working methods of an international news organization.

The next victim could be Chantal, a world-renowned singer, at the Eye Club. Things become more complicated when the boss of the news organization is killed. Daniel and his girlfriend decide to find out who the real murderer is.

Part thriller, part love: Will good win out in the end?

Shanghai-born Zhong Yanle, playing the role of Chantal, is the only Chinese actress who has performed a leading role in a musical in London's West End.

She was the leading actress when "Avenue Q," best musical winner of the 2004 Tony Award, was staged in London.

Malvius looks forward to the performance at the Expo site at the end of the month.

"For me, World Expo Shanghai is a great opportunity for different countries to display their products, but it should be more than trade and industry," he says.

"Our leisure time is as important as our working lives as it gives us a chance to reflect and develop our mind and senses through culture, theater and music which are so important to our well-being.

"Expo will show us how culture can help us in our day-to-day life," the director adds.

Date: through May 23 (closed on Monday), 7:30pm; May 15, 22, 4pm

Venue: Shanghai Drama Arts Theater, 288 Anfu Rd

Tickets: 120-280 yuan

Tel: 6473-0123

Date: May 29, 8pm

Venue: Expo Center at the World Expo Pudong site


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