Nobel author Mo Yan's debut drama 'Crocodile' to premiere in May
College students from several universities in Beijing spoke aloud lines and shared their sentiments about novelist and playwright Mo Yan's newest drama, Crocodile, at the Beiguo Theater in Beijing Normal University on Jan 11, 2023.
"A dreamer's nightmare, are we all slaves to desire?"
"The crocodile is in the river; the river is in my heart, and I am in the belly of the crocodile." "Don't be controlled by desire. We need light!"…
As college students spoke aloud lines and shared their sentiments about novelist and playwright Mo Yan's newest drama, Crocodile, the unveiling of the play took center stage at the Beiguo Theater in Beijing Normal University on Jan 11.
The drama, produced by Magnificent Culture Co Ltd and scripted by Mo Yan, will premiere in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province, on May 3, followed by a national tour until September.
Crocodile is the first original drama script penned by the Nobel laureate Mo Yan. Celebrated for his imaginative and humanistic fiction, Mo won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2012.
Mo spent over a decade meticulously crafting the story of Crocodile. Its plot revolves around the protagonist, Shan Wudan, and a crocodile he received as a gift for his birthday. Through an infinitely growing crocodile, the story digs into the complexity of human nature and explores the theme of "desire".
Mo Yan speaks at the launching of the theatrical production Crocodile on Jan 11, 2023.
During the launch event, Mo Yan expressed his lifelong connection with drama since childhood. "I've been a loyal drama fan since childhood. I've watched many dramas and opera works, and even played some small roles, which left a deep memory of the stage," said Mo. "Therefore, I feel like I should write several plays to repay what theater has brought to me."
Wang Keran, the director of Crocodile, said: "Crocodile is an exceptionally rare script that I have came across in my more than 20 years' career in the theater industry." He noted that there is a special "protagonist" in the play – light. "Each character is chasing the light in their hearts," he says.
Mo Yan (second from left) and the main cast of Crocodile.
The theatrical production of Crocodile features a star-studded cast, including Taiwan movie star Winston Chao, actress Zhang Kaili and veteran Hong Kong actress Sheren Tang.
Chao, in his 60s, plays the role of protagonist Shan Wudan. He said: "I think the character I'm portraying is highly talented and ambitious, but he couldn't resist temptation, and in the end, he succumbed to his desires. Playing this role at my age, I feel I can truly understand it.'"
Crocodile will tour around China from May to September, visiting cities including Suzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Shanghai and Beijing.