There is an old Chinese saying, "a manly man seldom cries." But Wang Tianjun, the protagonist of the play Men's Tears , cried his heart out with his fellow workers at the end of the '97 China National Theatre Festival premiere, performed by Guangzhou Municipal Theatre Troupe Nov.10-12, 25,26.
Written by Xu Yan, Men's Tears aims at a severe social problem at the time when China accelerates its pace toward modernization. The story is closely associated with the true story from March this year, in which an apartment building in Putian, Fujiang province toppled down, causing 31 dead, 16 severely injured. In Sept., another building collapsed in Changshan, Zhe Jiang province, leaving 36 dead. The same month saw a 14-story building in Shanghai and a 18-story building in Wuhan ordered to be destroyed as a result of poor quality. All of these startling facts inspired the writer.
Yan portrayed a variety of vivid characters in the play, including ousted peasants and angry rebels.The writer put a question before everyone: If, after years of hard work, a big building has been built but found to be low in quality, should it be destroyed or leave it to topple down in the future? Wang Tianjun, the architect, bravely shouldered the responsibilities and decided to destroy the new building which embodied the sweat and toil of hundreds of workers. He cried bitterly. And all cried with him.
It is well worth mentioning that the play is directed by Mr. Wang Xiaoying, a very promising young director who is the only Doctor in Direction in China. His play, Spirit of Spring and Autumn, has been awarded the Wen Hua Prize, the most important national prize for best theatre production.
Men's Tears runs Nov. 10-12 at 15:00 and 20:00 everyday, at Guangzhou HuangHuaGang Theater, No.96 Xian Lie Zhong Lu; and Nov.25 at 19:30, Nov. 26 at 9:00am, at Guangzhou Military Region Auditorium, No.12 Da Da Lu. For tickets call 86-020-87776997 or 86-020-87174550
--by Wang Ling