The drama Ruan Lingyu is bringing the story of a legendary film star to life on Beijing People’s Art Theatre’s stage throughout this month.

Ruan Lingyu, one of the four beauties of the Republican era, was a prominent star of Chinese silent film. Her suicide at the age of 24 made her a permanent icon of Chinese cinema.

Having lost her father at a young age, Ruan began working in film to make ends meet. One day while on a shoot, Ruan met the tea tycoon Tang Wenshan. The wealthy Tang pursued her madly and began meddling in her relationship with Zhang Sida.

Zhang eventually paid off the tabloids to crash the couple’s wedding ceremony. Faced with rabid media coverage and intense private problems, Ruan poisoned herself at the age of 24. Her suicide note read “Gossip is a fearful thing.”

Ruan’s life is one of the most popular behind-the-scenes stories of Chinese cinema. Written by scriptwriter Liu Jinyun, the dramatic retelling captures the brief flash of a shining star.

But Ruan Lingyu offers more than a peek behind the curtains of 1930s cinema.

The crew said the story is rather complicated one. In order to accurately portray the lifetime of Ruan Lingyu, the scriptwriter referred to numerous historical documents and made special trips to libraries with relevant collections. Every detail on stage is consistent with historical fact.

Beijing Capital Theatre
Through October 24, 7:30-10 pm
22 Wangfujing Dajie, Dongcheng
80-880 yuan

Yang Xin

About Yang Xin

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Yang Xin is a '90s girl who is obsessed with music, tennis, reading and pretty boys. She hopes her life and career will take her around the world.

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