The 2014 Capital Theatre Boutique Play Invitational Exhibition is presenting Four Generations Under One Roof, a three-hour drama adapted from an award-winning novel of the same title.
Long praised as “the book that every Chinese deserves to read,” the novel is an epic of the Peiping people in their struggle for personal freedom and family unity at the outset of the Japanese invasion.
The novel describes the different tracks three families’ lives take during wartime. By depicting each family’s character and reaction, the writer Lao She paints a rich mosaic of human life against the social backdrop of the time.
Published as a trilogy, the 800,000-character work has challenged every director who attempted to adapt it for television. Even so, Tian Qinxin’s drama seems to have won over the public.
“I sense deep compassion from this drama. Its powerful emotions are everywhere, no matter whether in the Qi family or the Qian family,”said Mousen, another stage director.
While dramas depicting Old Beijing are mostly judged on their ability to copy and recreate scenes of the time, Four Generations is an exception.
The story invites viewers to engage in criticism and introspection. For Old Beijingers, the tale offers not only nostalgic images of city walls and hutong homes but a reminder of how the lure of money and power can dull one’s passion for life.
In this dramatic adaptation, Tian Qinxin digs the modern significance out of the original work and refreshes in the selfish and greedy personalities of its characters. Meanwhile, the tolerance and integrity of other characters encourages those who still hold traditional beliefs.
Since its debut in Taipei at the end of 2010, Four Generations Under One Roof has been staged more than 180 times in 38 cities, including Hong Kong and Macao.
7:30-9:30 pm, through August 17
22 Wangfujing Dajie, Dongcheng