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Eileen Chang's "Red Rose and White Rose" on stage in September

     The National Theatre of China and its renowned female director Tian Qinxin will stage “Red Rose and White Rose”, a famous work of modern Chinese author Eileen Chang, in Hong Kong as part of a resurgence of interest in Chang in the territory.

   The production will star Qin Hailu, the Best Actress at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Festival for “Durian Durian”, promising Mainland actor Gao Hu, and Xin Baiqing and Hu Jingfan, the acclaimed pair in Tian Zhuangzhuang’s  “Springtime in A Small Town”.

   Chang wrote the novel at the age of 24. Tian will cast two actors in the same role, a technique that will let audiences peer deeper into the dark chamber where a man struggles between sense and lust.

   The programme was the star turn of the 100th anniversary of modern Chinese theatre last year and then it toured major Mainland cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Wuhan and Shenzhen to critical acclaim. News Times, Shanghai said, “In a split space ingeniously designed by the director, what goes on inside the male protagonist’s head is laid bare with clinical insight.” Beijing Evening News commented “Tian has sculpted a new Chang with great audacity, speaking out the despair that she has barely stopped short of writing down, and letting us feel the desperate loss and sadness behind the chuckles and the laughter...”

   The story starts with Zhenbao returning home on a rainy day. He senses that his wife is having an affair with a young tailor.  It makes him recall how, years ago, on a rainy day like this, he returned to his friend’s home where he was staying temporarily, and found himself attracted to his friend’s wife, Jiaorui...

   Tian Qinxin is regarded as the theatre director with the greatest potential by dramatists and critics at home and abroad.  Her adaptation and directorial effort in staging Xiao Hong’s novel, “The Field of Life and Death”, rocked the theatre world in China in 1999. She is also a winner of China’s most coveted artistic accolade, the Wenhua Grand Award, and the highest honour in literature for drama, the Cao Yu Literary Award.

   The National Theatre of China is a state performing arts organisation that offers a platform where tradition meets modernity and state-of-the-art performance is pursued to nurture theatrical excellence. It presents both Chinese and foreign dramas and explores both classical and experimental theatrical forms.

   Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, “Red Rose and White Rose” will be staged at 8pm on September 11-13 (Friday to Sunday) at Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, in Putonghua with Chinese and English surtitles. Tickets priced at $100, $180, $280 and $350 will be available from July 17 onwards at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A group booking discount is available. Please refer to programme leaflet for details.

   For programme enquiries, call 2268 7325 for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999; for Internet bookings, visit; for more information, visit

Ends/Thursday, July 16, 2009

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