The Yellow Storm by Lao She premieres in Taipei in October

The Yellow Storm by Lao She premieres in Taipei in October

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Lao She’s The Yellow Storm is scheduled to be done as a stage play and is set to premiere in Taipei on October this year, as recently announced by its production team.

Listed as one of the top 100 novels in 20th century Chinese Literature by news magazine Yazhou Zhoukan, The Yellow Storm, is considered a very influential novel. Written 60 years ago by Lao She, this three-part novel with 800,000 words is a story about the lives and struggles of Beijingers, the Qi family and their neighbors in Yangjuaner Hutong during the Japanese occupancy in Beijing in the 1930′s and 40′s.

According to its producer Li Dong, although the Yellow Storm is a Beijing story, they chose to premiere in Taiwan because Taiwan shares the same roots with Beijing.  The stage play aims to impart Beijing culture to Taiwan and even farther.

Li dong added that they will set a small Beijing fair and exhibition at the venue so Taiwan audiences can get a taste of Beijing before they see the play.

“I was born and raised in Beijing, I love Beijing culture, it is in my blood,” said director Tian Qinxin.  ”I feel obliged to challenge myself with this mission and I will show my humble understanding of Beijing culture in this play.”

“I feel the pressure and enjoyment at the same time,” Tian added.  ”It is a well-known story, I have to take extra care when adapting it, compressing a story of over 800,000 words into a 20,000-word play, it is very difficult.”

“The story is taking place in an open neighborhood, not indoors, for a stage performance, this doubles the difficulty, that’s why no one has adapted it before,” she said.

“Traditionally, the stage is a close and intimate set, for this open neighborhood, we have been thinking about smart ways for the set, it has to be pure Beijing style in the old times,” she explained.  ”We are thinking about building up Beijing’s trademark Zhengyangmen (the south gate in Beijing’s old city wall) in front of the venue in Taipei.  It is a very bold idea, no one has done it before, we are still experimenting, hopefully it will look fresh and creative when it’s being staged.”

Currently, The Yellow Storm is in rehearsals and is set to premiere on October 27 in Taipei.  Co-produced by Xicheng district government, National Theater of China and Beijing Children’s Art Theater, the play is also scheduled to tour mainland China.

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