Home Entertainment The opening drama of Wuzhen Theatre Festival “Red and Black” Shanghai Premiere | Mei Ting and Zhang Yicheng’s Ice and Fire Show_Meng Jinghui

The opening drama of Wuzhen Theatre Festival “Red and Black” Shanghai Premiere | Mei Ting and Zhang Yicheng’s Ice and Fire Show_Meng Jinghui

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Original Title: Shanghai Premiere of “Red and Black” in the opening drama of Wuzhen Theatre Festival |

As the banner of China‘s “avant-garde drama” in the past two decades, Meng Jinghui’s works will always receive widespread attention from the theater community as soon as they are born. On October 15, 2021, Meng Jinghui’s annual epic production “Red and Black” was the opening drama of the Wuzhen Theater Festival. It dazzled four people, and one ticket was hard to find. More than 1,000 spectators witnessed a century-long hymn of life at the Wuzhen Grand Theater that night. This drama, which restores the most prestigious century-old masterpiece of French writer Stendhal, is destined to receive international level applause.

From December 10th to 12th, Meng Jinghui will lead Mei Ting, Zhang Yicheng and representatives of the “Empty Flower Group” to appear together at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center to play a battle of entangled love between the winners and losers. The Chinese avant-garde theater director will, with awe and love for this era’s masterpiece, once again collaborate with the famous German drama composer Sebastian Caesar to deconstruct the brand-new “Red and Black” with Montessori aesthetics. The audience in Shanghai will see the true face of this giant production for the first time, and the tension of the drama is gushing out, leading the audience back to the distant red and black dream. A game between history and life, the pursuit of personal ideals and contradictions is about to be staged.

Loyal to the original or rebellious to the end?

A Probe into the Sexual Desires of the Mencius Aesthetics

“Red and Black” is the first masterpiece of critical realism in European literature in the 19th century. Since its publication in 1830, it has won the hearts of generations of readers. It is still recognized today as the most brilliant and exquisite crown of European literature. Artistic gem. The French writer Stendhal’s exploration of psychological depth is far beyond the reach of contemporary writers, creating a precedent for later generations of “stream of consciousness novels” and “psychological novels.” The tortuous journey of personal destiny in the tide of the times, the repeated contradictions and entanglements between ideals and reality, and the fleeting happiness of a few people… all these will present the meaning of a new era with life tension through the magnifying glass of Meng’s aesthetics. .

Meng Jinghui knows that “today’s young people don’t have time to read, I’ll read it for them, and show them on the stage to tell everyone how beautiful it is.” Of course, being faithful to the original is not faithful to its plot, but to its most important energy. , Value, and mental state, we must find the part that interests modern people, “If he is not interested, you will be fake when you perform.”

△ Director/ Meng Jinghui

At a glance, this is the familiar Meng Jinghui: we can still see the familiar screaming, tearing, lifting the table, bantering, games, monologues, and the use of scenes in play. But there is also a taste of strangeness in familiarity. This time, he followed the original book and made some trade-offs, focusing on the emotional drama of the three people, more precisely, lust. “We have also rehearsed in accordance with Stendhal’s play logic, the red scene, the black scene, and then the red and black battles are mixed. But I think it is so shallow, red and black are not so simple.” So, Meng Jinghui chose to take a more macro view. , Universal, and a more basic perspective to interpret this classic again.

Meng Jinghui uses humor, ridicule, and romantic narrative methods to present the unique pleasure of psychological lust in a light-weight way, which is the most detailed and profound exploration of the theme of lust.

△ “Red and Black” stills / photography: Tasu

The original book has almost no description of lust, but the sensuality and animality transformed from emotion is Meng Jinghui’s Freudian answer to “Red and Black”-only the deepest entanglement of lust, jealousy, hurt and naked opposition. The desire for physical desire is the driving force behind Julian’s destruction.

For fans of the original book, accepting such an adaptation is not an easy task. It is no longer a “1830 breaking latest news“, no longer a prophecy of the French July Revolution, no longer a magnificent personal careerist struggle. History, it is still cruel and true, but whether it can be understood and recognized, the audience needs to go to the scene to verify it.

Mei Ting’s partner Zhang Yicheng has an ice and fire match

The empty flower group set up a stage to break through the ladder of desire

The visual artist Zhang Wu, who created nearly 40 stage works for Meng Jinghui, used a hundred giant steel brackets to build a three-story desire pavilion. With the constant changes of emotional lighting, all emotions are hidden in the surreal space constructed by light and shadow. Light. Red is entangled by black, and black and red are mixed. “Red and Black” presented on the stage of the drama focused more on the emotional entanglement between the three. Julien’s contradictions, Madame de Reina’s pain, and Mathilde’s jealousy were all unfolding in light and shadow. Game. Zhang Yicheng will interpret the “ice” that is entangled in his heart and pretending to be calm on the outside, and the performances of the two actresses Mei Ting and Luo Huan will have their own “fire”.

△ “Red and Black” stills / Photography: Ma Yue

With a large number of inner monologues, multi-language switching, and a large number of action scheduling, Zhang Yicheng leads the audience into Julian’s inner world: In the face of painful and persistent search, the soul’s up and down search, should one choose self-salvation or self-destruction? For a real “Julian”, his impulse, thinking, confusion, sinking and hope are all struggles between history and a person’s growth.

△ “Red and Black” stills / photography: Tasu

Zhang Yicheng said, “I have known the director until now. For so long, “Red and Black” is the greatest kindness that Director Meng has given to the audience. He is very friendly to the audience. He combines all his tenderness and all the softness in his heart. It’s in the scene. You can’t see that he has too many sharp things in it. This kind of power is very, very rare. Don’t try to understand what we’re talking about, just feel it.”

For Mei Ting, cooperating with Meng Jinghui is not only to challenge herself, but also to find a kind of “danger” in the unique Meng’s avant-garde aesthetics.

△ “Red and Black” stills / photography: Tasu

“To play Madame de Reina, you must accept her passion for love, burning of lust, unavailable loss, and deep jealousy.

—— Mei Ting

Madam de Reina, played by Mei Ting, grew up in a monastery, but she has always had more longing and yearning for love and life in her heart. She has been suppressing the “fire” in her heart, and Julian’s arrival made the fire follow. Burned down her psychological defense. Although she is a guest actor, Mei Ting has worked with Director Meng since 1999. She is regarded as one of the oldest Meng actors. Her most intuitive feeling is that “Director Meng Jinghui’s stage needs you to take in and then release, and you need to have A lot of energy is released, so you must have this energy.” The coldness of Madame de Reina on the stage was completely different from the heat afterwards. Mei Ting’s restrained and measured performance exemplified this role well.

△ “Red and Black” stills / photography: Tasu

Luo Huan’s explosive and flexible performance made it easier for the audience to feel the “fire” of Mathilde from the inside out. She stretched out an advanced love escalator to Julian in the chaos. , But like Othello, she almost lost her mind because of jealousy. Luo Huan believes that “Miss Mathilde is the biggest winner in the play. It is not that in the hearts of others, but in her own hearts, she has also reached one of her most lofty ideals.”

△ “Red and Black” stills / photography: Tasu

When Zhang Yicheng, Luo Huan, Li Zhihao, Yang Zuofu, Lu Jing, Guo Bingkun, Zhang Gongchang, Chen Yuxin, Liu Shuang, Zhang Yaqian and other members of the “empty flower group” stood on the stage, there was an unstoppable light. The actors of Meng Jinghui’s Drama Studio “Empty Flower Group” have created more than ten classic works such as “The Rhino in Love”, “The Life Opinion of Two Dogs”, and “A Letter from a Strange Woman”. They are the theater stage. A powerful medicine on the scene, they switch between different identities on the stage of fate, interpret the life of the times in the story, and search for the “belonging to the happiness of a few people” in the pavilion ladder built by desire.

“Red and Black” stills / photography: Tasu

We are going to act. What we want to express is a spiritual core, which is definitely not in line with the original novel. What we hope is that we can accompany you to share, soar, let go of imprisonment, and freely imagine during these three hours. “

Q /A

[对话] Mei Ting Zhang Yicheng Luo Huan

△ “Red and Black” stills / Photography: Liu Huang

Director Meng has exaggerated expressions in many plays. When faced with no conflicts between characters, in the case of large monologues and psychological expressions, will he worry that some audiences will drift outside of the play ? Are you worried that the audience’s acceptance is not high?

Zhang Yicheng, I am not worried. It’s not that I’m particularly confident that the audience will follow me. In case the audience doesn’t understand or whatever, it’s a technical problem. In fact, most of my monologues are talking to myself,The audience can only see me if I enter the kind of thing that confronts myself, So if I were not in a state of confrontation with myself, of course I would not be able to catch the audience, but I would not worry about it either. Whether I am in this state or not and whether I am really confronted with myself is my own business.

Mei Ting is actually extremely difficult if we can hold the audience tightly. But if you drift away, I think you should enjoy this drift. Because dissociation is actually an experience that the audience is watching other people’s plays and thinking about themselves. I think it’s a beautiful experience.Just like if houses are built in a city, it will be blocked, and some parks are needed for everyone to breathe. You understand that this period of freedom is a breathing period during the whole process of watching a movie. How beautiful it is., I don’t think it is necessary to reject it.

When Julien was finally killed, what kind of mood did Madame de Reina feel towards the young man who disrupted her peaceful life?

Mei Ting, what I think is interesting about the theater is that my feelings are different in every performance of the moment. Everyone only sees a three-hour performance on the stage, but in life,Madame de Reina has loved Julian forever since she met him.. When Julian was killed in the end, my feelings were very mixed.

△ “Red and Black” stills / photography: Tasu

Miss Mathilde finally put Julien’s head in her arms and went to the church to hold a deathbed mass. I always think that Miss Mathilde has a very grand acting personality. How do you understand her behavior?

Luo Huan, I agree with you that Miss Mathilde is a performance personality. The only winner in the love story of these three people is actually Miss Mathilde. She not only loved too much, but also received too much love for a period of time. In the end, he died and Madame Dreena also died, but only Mattie Like the queen she once admired, Miss Erd not only held the head of her lover, but also achieved a kind of spiritual detachment.soI personally think that Miss Mathilde is the biggest winner here. It is not that in the hearts of others, perhaps in her own hearts, she has also reached one of her most lofty ideals.

I would like to ask what is your opinion on the setting of the stage where the actors jump out of the stage in the play? Can it be used as an interaction?

Zhang Yicheng’s stage is a real life, and when he entered the auditorium, it was the collision of the three of them. Nothing happened in the real life, but there was such a collision between the souls of the three. We did not interact with the audience. With interaction, barriers cannot be broken.

Miss Mathilde played Othello. Is Othello added here to have a correspondence with the following plot?

Luo Huan Othello is actually not in the original book. This segment appears in the entire drama, one of the main reasons is that it is necessary to show the audience something different, because the first half is a continuation of their very delicate inner feelings. The second point is that we want to express Miss Mathilde, she is a spiritually special person, and she does have a performance personality, then this paragraph can also make the audience understand that she is performing.

△ “Red and Black” stills / photography: Tasu

Regarding the role of Julian, as a stance toward women, it may not be so pleasing in this era. Whether it is his utilitarian side, or his emotional handling in the play. So I would like to ask if Teacher Zhang Yicheng will directly interpret the “role” in the original book, or will he have some integration with the current era?

Zhang Yicheng, I am the second kind you mentioned. I am not in the original book at all, and my appearance has nothing to do with Julian. Because in the novel, Stendhal has a lot of descriptions of the inner heart of the characters, and there are few dialogues, so he always expresses them delicately. We are going to act,What we want to express is a spiritual core, which is definitely not in line with the original novel. How do we perform this thing on the stage? If you have been imprisoned in the plot of your own novel, you will never come out. What we hope is that we can accompany you to share in these three hours. If we don’t leave the fetters of novels, we won’t be able to fly.

Compared with such a complicated book, what kind of preliminary work will the actor do before it is presented?

Mei Ting read the book at least three times, to understand Stendhal clearly, and to know what Mrs. Moral Reina had all her. So actually,Actors are sometimes not particularly respected in this era. The way we respect ourselves is that we do our profession well., We are very professional. Houlang has many books about acting and directing, all of which we actors have to cover and we have to read and prepare. Watching movies, watching theaters, and reading books are all necessary. It’s not a simple act on the scene, it’s not that simple. I respect my profession, I love it, it’s like this.

△ Mei Ting as Mrs. De Reina / Photography: Ma Yue

I would like to ask Mr. Mei Ting, how do you feel about traveling back and forth between the three stages of TV, film and drama?

Mei Ting, when I was filming, I have never played a role. I think it takes time for this character to grow up to you, so I cherish every role. But when I was invited by director Meng Jinghui, I was stuck in two other scenes. I was playing Madman’s Diary, but I turned off the rest. During the rehearsal period, I was still flying out to make a TV series, flying out to act in a drama.This is very tiring, but because there areMadame de Reina is supporting me, So I took it.

In fact, the stage is particularly difficult, because all the movies you see are edited through post-production. You know that editing is a re-creation. You can cut out all the inaccuracies, all the procrastination, and all the parts that don’t catch people in the performance.butThere is no editor on the stage, and all the rhythms are controlled by the actors, so I am a fan of “Konghua”.

△ “Red and Black” stills / Photography: Liu Huang

Director Meng’s plays have a very strong personal style. I would like to ask the three teachers, from the perspective of actors, what is the difference between acting Meng Jinghui and other drama performances? For example, the difference between the tension of the performance or the release of the sense of energy?

Mei Ting, I worked with Director Meng in 1999. Every director has his own style. This year he played Lu Pa’s “Madman’s Diary”. For example, director Lu Pa’s rhythm will be slower, and his stage is whispering, so all his actors receive everything. Inside, everything is secret.ButDirector Meng Jinghui’s stage needs you to close it and release it, and it needs you to release a lot of energy.You must have this energy. I have always liked Luo Huan’s explosive power. This is how I feel.

Zhang Yicheng and the two of us (Luo Huan) have nothing to say, because I have been directing Meng Jinghui since 2009 for 12 years. You said that the director has his own fixed style, but he doesn’t. Many philosophies are talking about these things, life and death, and love. This is something we can’t express clearly in one sentence or our behavior. Everyone has a different understanding. When everyone feels this kind of power together, it is actually the best, not that I have to understand what the play is saying, the kind of power and the kind of unspeakable feelings, this is the most important. I have known the director until now, for so long,“Red and Black” is his greatest kindness to the audience. He is very friendly to the audience. He rubbed all his tenderness and all his inner softness in this play. You can’t see that he has too much sharpness. With things inside, this kind of power is also very, very rare. Don’t try to understand what we are talking about, but feel.

Meng Jinghui’s drama “Red and Black”

Cast and Crew List

Original: Stendhal (French)

Director: Meng Jinghui

Drama composition: Sebastian Kaiser (Germany)

Stage design: Zhang Wu

Lighting design: Wang Qi

Clothing/styling design: Yu Lei

Music Director: Hua Shan

Composer: Hua Shan, Wang Chuang

Multimedia Design: Everyone Chen Xu

Video Design: Ma Yue

Sound Engineering: Zhang Xinnan

Director’s Assistant: Li Huayi


Mei Ting as Madame de Reina

Zhang Yicheng as Julian Sohail

Luo Huan as Mathilde

Lee Ji Ho as the mayor

Yan Zuofu as the Marquis of Ramor

Lu Jing as the old Sohail

Guo Bingkun as Varno

Zhang Gongchang as the priest

Chen Yuxin as Stanislas/Alta

Liu Shuang as Mrs. Daweier

Zhang Yaqian as Alisa

Live performance: EB Virus Band (Huashan, Wang Chuang)

Stage Director: Yu Lei

Stage Supervisor: Wu Popo

Stage art installation: Zhang Taotao, Ye Luning

Wang Dongli, Zhao Yan, Yang Pengtao, Lu Kui

Lighting design assistant: Chen Nan

Lighting: Li Zheng, Chen Lei, Guo Qiang

Sound: Huang Zelong, Jian Jiale

Multimedia player: Zhang Mingshuai

Costumes: Jin Xue, Li Yingxin

Makeup: Guo Ya, Luo Yuan

Production Director: Wen Ronghua

Production Coordinator: Cao Shang

Production execution: Zhang Qi

Publicity Director: Wang Hao

Propaganda: Zhang Yue, Miao Dan, Wang Jue

Graphic Design: Misunderstanding, Wang Jiaqi, Qiao 49

Subtitle translation: Zhang Hexin

* The lineup is based on the scene

Performance time

December 10-12, 2021

(Fri/Sat/Sun) 19:15

Performance location

Shanghai Oriental Art Center Opera Hall

[ 票价 ]

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