Author: Wang Run
In the 1930s, Lao She published his first finale work of his golden age – the novella “My Life”, the protagonist is a patrolman in the old society. This year, director Huang Ying launched the 51st drama “Half My Life” directed in his career. The protagonist is “Chang Shun” based on Lao She’s first half life experience. Yesterday, the play was officially premiered as the 2021 annual funding project of the Beijing Culture and Art Fund and also the 70th anniversary of the Beijing Academy of Arts and Crafts. This is not only Huang Ying, who is good at “Beijing-style drama”, to pay tribute to Mr. Lao She and Beijing Renyi; it is also a creator who is constantly pursuing growth, leading contemporary audiences to explore and think together through the experience of Lao She’s life before he became a literary hero. Life and the meaning of life.
Photo by Dong Hongchuan
Although it was the hot summer, but when I walked into the Beijing Human Arts Experimental Theater, I found that the stage here was arranged as a “land of ice and snow”, with a small “water area” in the middle. The “snow” wrapped around the pillars and even stretched to the feet of the front row audience; the “boats” were floating in the water. This snow is the snow of the lunar new year – Shu Changshun, the protagonist of “Half of My Life”, was born on the New Year’s Eve just like Lao She. This snow is also the snow in winter in Beiping and the snow in winter in London. When Lao She was young, he once lived in London from Peiping, during which time he began his important writing career; at the age of 30, he returned to his hometown and entered the turbulent second half of his life. On the stage of “Half My Life”, the two cities of Peiping and London alternately appear as backgrounds, spelling out the spiritual map of the young Changshun in his life journey, which also makes people’s impression of Lao She not only stop at the one who buried his head A great writer who writes, writes brilliantly, is wise and humorous, but sees a poor child who grew up in misery, and a young man who is also confused, confused, troubled, and suffering.
Although this Shu Changshun, whose nickname is “Xiao Nian”, is somewhat different from Shu Qingchun, who is familiar with the pseudonym “Lao She”, he seems to be closer to every ordinary person, which makes people unable to help thinking about their own life and Growing up, I also want to talk to this young man on stage. This is also the reason why Huang Ying did not choose to only adapt one of Mr. Lao She’s works. He also did not want to write a biography for Lao She. “The curiosity and attention generated by Lao She, based on careful study of Lao She’s life and various works such as novels, essays, plays, and even cross talk, re-understand Lao She’s growth experience and spiritual world, and at the same time convey his own views on the world, life, and life. attitude towards creation.
Just as Lao She’s writing style is actually very changeable and uneven, and he holds compassionate goodwill and equality for the characters in his writing; Huang Ying’s “Half of My Life” also has a mixed style that is both realistic and freehand; young actors play various roles Various characters, but no real villain. There are a lot of old Beijing dialects in the lines in the play, and the program list also specifically lists a long list of “noun explanations”: wrapping chaos, old gangzi, soaking mushrooms… But Huang Ying and Huang Ying used to try to restore the “Luzhuan” that lived in different eras in Beijing. “”Jujube Tree”,”Fu Shouquan”,”Open Meal!” Unlike other works, “Half My Life” is full of Beijing-style charm, but it also reflects Lao She’s personality and the charm of his works that transcend geography, time and space.
At the end of “Half My Life”, a fictional meeting between Chang Shun and his father is fictional – in reality, Lao She’s father died when he was 3 years old, and his memory of his father is almost thin. The meeting in the play happened in Chang Shun’s seriously ill dream. At that time, Chang Shun, who was confused because of being trapped in “card tables, theaters, and dance halls”, met his late father in a coma from a serious illness near the “Ghost Gate”. His father said to him, “The next time I see you, I hope you don’t look ashamed like this.” This is also a solid idea that Huang Ying, who is not confused but still pursues, explores and reflects, wants to express: “Everyone has an end, you can never predict how you end. But what we can do is when the end comes, don’t let yourself be ashamed.” (Wang Run)