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Jane EyreAfter Shanghai, the company will perform in Fuzhou (Fujian province) at the Fuzhou Theatre (July 18 to 19).
Co-produced by National Centre for the Performing Arts, National Theatre of China
Playwright: Yu Rongjun
Director: Wang Xiaoying
Stage design: Liu Kedong
Lighting design: Xing Xin
Leading Cast: Yuan Quan, Wang Luoyong, Zhang Ying, Cao Xuqiu.
Shanghai Cultural Square
Friday 5, 19:15 h
Saturday 6, 19:15 h
Sunday 7, 19:15 h
Why does Jane Eyre continue to be so popular in China?
Chinese theatre is [mostly] murder mysteries or comedies, where people politely criticise the government or society, but in terms of serious drama discussing human conditions with morality and spirituality, there isn’t much on. Plays by Lao She or Cao Yu are too dark and too familiar; audiences feel they’re listening to their grandmothers. But Jane Eyre is the story people are waiting for – it’s about a real connection and unconditional love, not about the thickness of [one’s] wallet. It grabs those looking for something deeper than punchlines.
What does that say about Chinese society?
A lot of people are looking for something meaningful, asking who they are and what they want. My Weibo account has over 200,000 followers, and everyone’s talking about Jane Eyre, about love and about Chinese society. It’s a great sign that Chinese people aren’t just looking for Gucci bags or Rolex watches, they’re thinking, ‘Where do we go from here?’ (...)
Tell us about Jane Eyre’s history in China...
People read it in college, and all the current Chinese leaders grew up with it. During the Intellectual Relocation Movement of the 1960s-70s, everyone was secretly reading the classics. Also, the 1970 Hollywood film with George C. Scott was hugely popular – today people are still comparing our show with the movie.
Has your life changed since you became Mr Rochester?
Yes, I get a lot of invitations to do stage works, and another invitation to join the National Theatre. Right now a company in Hangzhou is doing a musical Jane Eyre. I’m still waiting for the music though.