Online Talk: 'To laugh or not to laugh' - Contemporary Chinese Theatre
|Dates:||20 January 2022|
|Times:||18:00 - 19:00|
|What is it:||Talk|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public|
Theatre is an art of coming together in presence. Therefore, it might not be surprising that we do not hear much of Chinese theatre in recent months. In my talk I would like to address one of the most lively and surprising phenomena in contemporary Chinese theatre: the different kinds of theatrical comedies. While most of the histories and collections of Chinese plays available in English do not pay much attention to comedic plays, some of the most discussed plays of recent years are exactly this: funny, ironic, satiric, grotesque, entertaining, comedic theatre and performances. It could even be argued that comedic elements are indispensable aspects in any kind of contemporary Chinese theatre. In my talk I will draw on examples by Nick Yu, Wen Fangyi, Huang Weiruo, Lin Weiran, Guo Shixing, and Li Jing and I will focus both on the written plays as well as on the stage production in order to illuminate some facets of the enormous multiplicity of comedy in contemporary Chinese theatre. I will also discuss some selected text passages from my translations of comedies in order to illustrate which kinds of humour and jokes can be found in Chinese theatre - and to discuss together how we can understand as well as translate them.
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