Norwegian play ‘Ibsen in One Take’ opened in Beijing

Norwegian playwright Oda Fiskum has staged a premier of her new work “Ibsen in One Take” at the Trojan House in Beijing on 28 November. The play, directed by innovative director Wang Chong, who has created the critically acclaimed works Thunderstorm 2.0 and The Flowers on the Sea 2.0, as a part of his New Wave Theatre Movement.

Ibsen in One Take is a co-production by Ibsen International, a company to promote Norwegain arts and culture around the world, and Beijing-based performance group Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental. The show has subtitles in English, and will run from November 28th to December 1st, starting at 19:30 every night.

One Single Play Connects Ibsen’s Complete Dramatic Works
As one of the most influential European playwrights, Henrik Ibsen has had a great impact upon the development of Chinese theatre and literature. His works were eagerly promoted by Lu Xun and other Chinese early pioneers of spoken drama in China in the 1920s and 30s. His works have been performed extensively on the Chinese stage. Since 1980s, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, and Master Builder, have been performed in Chinese and deeply moved Chinese audience.


Actor Li Jialong plays a protagonist, who leads a difficult life. (Photo: China Daily)

 

While each piece of Ibsen’s work has distinguished characters and themes, the play “Ibsen in One Take” has integrated representative characters, themes, and lines from Ibsen’s works by showing the life story of one man. Ultimately, it presents the essence of Ibsen’s dramatic works.

 

Playwright Oda Fiskum finds that many of Ibsen’s primary themes are as relevant in today’s China as they were at the time of creation. The most prominent among these is the individual’s struggle to find its place within the family, and within society at large, during a time of vast generation gaps and rapid social change. Just like it was for Ibsen, the central element of Oda’s plays is always the individuals. And it is the  delicate inner workings of these individuals that Wang emphasizes in his interpretation.

Long Take Upgrades the New Wave Theatre
Wang’s successful work Thunderstorm 2.0, with a crew shooting a movie live on the stage, aggressively overturned the conventional way of performing and watching theatre in China. Questions have been raised towards further development of the multimedia approach, but with Ibsen in One Take, Wang pushes the artistic and technical experimentations even further.

 

“I used four cameras to create live movies in the past productions. But this time I only used one; and the only long take forms the whole movie.” Wang tells about the exploration with excitement and ambition. “Acting, shooting, and scene changes all happen at the same time. There is great pleasure in watching the process on stage.”

Ibsen in One Take is playing at Muma Theatre, 22 International Art Plaza, Beijing until December 1. For more information call: 400-610-3721.

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