Many middle-aged people in China are very familiar with "Pavel Korchagin," the hero of Nikolay Alexeevich Ostrovsky's novel "How the Steel Was Tempered," the most popular book in China during the 1950s and 1960s. It can be said that the entire generation of Chinese people were greatly affected by the novel.
However, after China adopted the reformation policy towards a market economy, people's world view totally changed, causing "Pavel Korchagin" and his beliefs to become alien to most young Chinese.
A group of young theater artists, many graduates of Central Academy of Drama, determined to produce a staged version of Pavel Korchagin for the younger generation. After almost two years' preparation, they finally overcame all the difficulties and mounted the production, with Solo Performances Productions & Artist Management Co. LTD as their sponsor.
Cai Shangjun, director of the play, said that Pavel Korchagin is an exciting story presented with novel stage effects. The performance employs various modern stage methods, as well as film, TV and projection techniques. A current pop song, "You Are So Tenderhearted", is also employed in the play, reflecting the psychological differences between Pavel's generation and the present young generation.
Many theatre critics, after watching the show, highly praised its artistry and social value. China Central Television committed to promoting the play and helping to send it to universities. It is said that a veteran Russian reporter of the Truth newspaper was deeply touched by the production, and immediately following went backstage and discussed the possibility of a Russian tour with the producer. Pavel Korchagin was written by Diao Yinan. The set is designed by Liu Qing, and the lighting designed by Xing Xin. The cast includes Hu Jun, Xia Lixin, Wang Chao, Yang Qing, Wang Xuebin, etc..
Pavel Korchagin will be performed at 7 PM thru Feb. 28, at China Children's Art Theatre, 64 Dong'an men Dajie, Dong Cheng District. Tel:65241831, and March 1-5, at the Capital Theater, No.22, Wang Fu Jing Da Jie, Tel:65249847
--By Wang Ling