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January 11, 2019

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Li experiments with Shakespeare’s classic

THE Chinese version of William Shakespeare’s classic “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” will be staged at Shanghai Grand Theater on January 16 and 17.

Directed by Li Liuyi, a renowned Chinese director and playwright, the dynamic new version is commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Shakespeare Folio Project,” which intends to create accessible translations of Shakespeare’s works for Chinese audiences.

Their first collaboration “King Lear” in 2017 was critically acclaimed in the international drama circle.

The script of the Chinese version of “Hamlet” is translated by Li Jianming.

“Different from the written language, the drama language pays attention to conversation,” said Li. “After watching so many versions of ‘Hamlet,’ I think this one is my favorite one.”

“To be, or not to be — that is a question,” is the opening line of the soliloquy delivered by Prince Hamlet in the “nunnery scene,” Act III, Scene I.

The director has switched the placement of the famous speech in the production, revealing his thoughts on suicide.

“But we adhere firmly to the integrity of the original work. We are not subverting or reconstructing it,” said Li Liuyi.

The play features a distinguished cast starring Hu Jun, Pu Cunxin and Lu Fang. Lu plays the dual roles of Ophelia and Queen Gertrude.

The set is designed by Michael Simon, a German scenic designer and theater director. William Chang Suk Ping, who has worked in all of Wong Kar-wai’s films, is in charge of the costumes and makeup.

“Shakespeare offered a literature template to the European novelists. He secularized literature through which even uneducated people could learn knowledge,” said Wang Anyi, one of leading figures in contemporary Chinese literature.


Date: January 16-17, 7:15pm

Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater

Address: 300 People’s Ave

Tickets: 80-980 yuan

Tel: 6386-8686


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