Two Plays Now Showing in Shanghai: God of Carnage and Deer Cauldron Tale

The rainy season is upon us. For the past two weeks the skies over Shanghai have been grey and drizzly, with occasional downpours like angry outbursts of a mad god. This is a good time to escape the rainy day depression by exploring the world of theatrical entertainment that Shanghai offers. Over the past week I have seen two staged plays at Shanghai's Dramatic Arts Center (上海话剧艺术中心) on Anfu Lu. The first was an adaptation into Chinese of the play God of Carnage written by Yasmina Reza, which was performed in Zurich, London, on Broadway, and now here in Shanghai. The second which I saw last night was Lu Ding Ji 鹿鼎记, which I translate here as "Deer Cauldron Tale." This play started out at the Shanghai Drama Theater in 2008 and has since been shown all over China. It is back in Shanghai now and soon moving on to Taiwan. What a contrast between a contemporary story involving two upper middle class urbanite couples, and a historical drama involving a Chinese secret society, a happy-go-lucky son of a whore, and the Manchu Emperor Kangxi.
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