Cao Yu’s early 20th-century drama Thunderstorm
, regarded as a
masterpiece in Chinese theater, is dismantled and reassembled in this
new interpretation helmed by internationally acclaimed director Wang
Chong. Using real-time video editing and sound mixing from action
occurring on stage, a hypnotic, near-silent movie unfolds to tell the
explicit story of two female characters discovering that they have been
cheated on by the same womanizing playboy.
Updating the story to a Beijing official’s home in the 1990s, Wang
and his company of Beijing performers reinvent the classic play to
reflect the complexities of contemporary capitalist-communist society,
the ubiquity of technology and the sex-obsessed global landscape. Chong
incorporates live pingtan players, a centuries-old form of traditional Chinese musical storytelling, to create the dialogue and soundtrack onstage.
Performed in Chinese with English supertitles