Curtain up as 'Frankenstein' returns with new cast
The Chinese adaptation of the popular stage play "Frankenstein" is making a return to the Shanghai Grand Theater this week, starring original cast members Yuan Hong, Yan Nan, as well as newcomer the dancer Liu Jia.
The play is based on the 1818 novel by English author Mary Shelley. It tells the story of young scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a sapient creature from human corpses in an unorthodox scientific experiment.
Frankenstein is appalled by his creation's deformed appearance, causing depression and anger in the creature's life that leads to his revenge.
The actors take turns to play the two roles of scientist Frankenstein and his sapient creature.
"The difficulty of portraying the creature is that his movements are against the conventional," said actor Yuan. "But Frankenstein is not easy to play either. He is a human, and the audience might have their expectations when watching the performance."
Newly joined Liu Jia has won himself popularity by his award-winning dancing career and appearances in variety shows over the years.
Liu described his experience in "Frankenstein" as a new challenge, as he had to talk and perform on the stage rather than just using body language.
"I was very nervous in the first few performances, or rather, I was in a very excited state," said Liu.
"My dancing skills can give me extra points regarding the control of body. However, I remind myself all the time that I shouldn't misuse the skills and leave audience with the impression that I'm a dancer."
"The most important task on this stage is to demonstrate the two characters," he said. "I have been learning from other actors and improving my skills, including the control of voice volume."
The Chinese adaptation is directed by British director Dominic Dromgoole and his Chinese workmate Li Ren.
Ren said in an earlier interview that the Chinese adaptation doesn't intend to localize the original production, but create a new version for the characters as well as the theme of the story – humanity and love.
Dates: September 23-24, 2:30pm/7:30pm
Tickets: 180-1,080 yuan
Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater 上海大剧院
Address: 300 People's Ave 人民大道300号