Pulling together to stage a classic

China Daily Updated:2024-01-08

Scenes from the latest adaptation of Lao She's classic novel Rickshaw Boy, which premiered in Beijing with an all-male cast led by director Fang Xu. [Photo provided to China Daily]

New play, adapted from Lao She's Rickshaw Boy, takes a different route to previous versions, Chen Nan reports.

A man of simple needs whose greatest ambition is to one day own a rickshaw, Xiangzi is probably one of the best-known characters portrayed by Lao She (1899-1966). In the decades since it was first published in 1937, the novel Rickshaw Boy has been adapted into movies, TV dramas and Chinese operas.

Now, a new version of the classic story has been adapted by Fang Xu into a Chinese play, which premiered at Beijing's Tianqiao Performing Arts Center on Dec 29. On Friday and Saturday, it will be staged at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

"The novel was published about 90 years ago. However, what intrigues me most is how it relates to today's young people, who call themselves 'Xiangzi'," says Fang, the play's director.

"Xiangzi is kind, determined and a man of a few words. He shares lots of similarities with today's young people, who move to bigger cities to make a living and want to fulfill their dreams by working very hard.

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