Romeo and Juliet with Chinese characteristics: Questions of usefulness and engagement in twenty-first-century China

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At the forty-second Hong Kong Arts Festival in March 2014, Beijing director Tian Qinxin presented her National Theatre of China production of Romeo and Juliet in Beijing dialect with Chinese and English subtitles. Starring television idols Li Guangjie and Yin Tao and with the action relocated to a fictional mainland Chinese rural town called Verona in a somewhat abstracted or ‘surreal’ time, this was very much an updated production.CCTV (the Chinese national broadcaster) described the production in the following terms: ‘Boxing, bicycles, guitars, baseball, and sunglasses are interwoven in this production. The nobility of Zhu Liye [Juliet] and Luo Miou [Romeo] changes into something of common people in this love story, shortening the distance between the Bard and Chinese audiences.’Despite the embedded Cultural Revolution allusions, which were commented on by critics and audience members alike, the stage picture in Tian’s Romeo and Juliet presented an image of Chinese young adults recognizable to any academic working in a Chinese or Sino-Foreign university at that time and one perhaps designed to appeal specifically to that younger cohort as spectators....
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Social Justice
EditorsDavid Ruiter
PublisherThe Arden Shakespeare
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-3501-4039-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-3501-4036-3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameThe Arden Shakespeare Handbooks
PublisherThe Arden Shakespeare

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