'Faces in the Crowd' deals with individuals with unique skills
The stage play "Faces in the Crowd," which will be performed this weekend at Shanghai Culture Square, depicts stories of people with special abilities.
Presented by Tianjin People's Art Theater, the play is based on Feng Jicai's award-winning short story collection of the same name. It is part of the national stage production organized by the Center for China Shanghai International Arts Festival.
Feng's novel depicts regional folk culture by describing a group of interesting people and their legendary stories, who were mostly based in Tianjin during the late Qing Dynasty.
The characters have extraordinary abilities. Painter Li, for example, always dresses in black but never gets white stains on his clothes. Doctor Li could identify people by looking at their teeth.
"When I first heard about adapting this novel into a stage production, I didn't think it was possible," Feng said about the play in an earlier interview.
"I wrote short novels in which the characters were unrelated to one another. I had no idea they could be combined into a single play," Feng had said.
"But after reading the script, I have to say that I admire the writers... They set up a pub where stories happen. They created a new character, Guan Erjie, whose personality borrowed references from my characters in the novel and thus connected their stories."
Well-known actress Liu Mintao plays the lead role of Guan Erjie, who is kind, smart and bold.
"The play is about a group of people who can complete certain tasks with exceptional skills and quality," producer Liu Zhongkui explained. "Even though these characters are over a century old, I believe we can still learn from their spirit."
Liu said a world tour for "Faces in the Crowd" was being planned for 2024 or 2025.
Dates: March 3-5, 7:30pm
Tickets: 80-1,080 yuan
Venue: Shanghai Culture Square (上海文化广场)
Address: 597 Fuxing Rd M. (复兴中路597号)