Ma Yue|
Stage

Monodrama explores the inner world of a contrabass player

2024-04-12 to 2024-05-05
Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center 上海话剧艺术中心
288 Anfu Rd 安福路288号
2024-04-12 to 2024-05-05
Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center 上海话剧艺术中心
288 Anfu Rd 安福路288号

The Chinese adaptation of German playwright Patrick Süskind's "Der Kontrabass" will return to Shanghai stage in April, starring famed actor Wang Yao-qing.

The monodrama was brought to the stage some 21 years ago by Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center actor Yang Yi, who is the director for this latest version.

Monodrama explores the inner world of a contrabass player
Ti Gong

The monodrama stars actor Wang Yao-qing.

The play is a soliloquy by a contrabass player troubled by insomnia. On a sleepless night, he recalls his career and love story, and shares his unfulfilled desires and thoughts on life.

The contrabass, or double bass, is one of the least conspicuous roles in an orchestra, but indispensable, as the protagonist insists. The instrument is his life-time companion, but also a reflection of his marginal role in society.

Patrick Süskind wrote the play in 1980 and it debuted in Munich in 1981. The Chinese version was first staged in Shanghai in 2003.

Monodrama explores the inner world of a contrabass player
Ti Gong

The play is a soliloquy by a contrabass player troubled by insomnia.

"I was in my immature 20s when acting in the play," said Yang. "With the increase of age, I have been developing a new understanding of the play, which can be well demonstrated by Wang."

Wang, 39, from China's Taiwan, often appears in TV series and entertainment programs, but said he was very pleased to set aside time for the play.

Monodrama explores the inner world of a contrabass player
Ti Gong

Wang in rehearsals for the Shanghai production of "Der Kontrabass."

He spent 10 days learning the instrument with Shanghai Symphony Orchestra principal contrabass player Zhang Ming, and practices regularly during rehearsals.

"I had pressure and worries at first, but it's an enjoyable process to spend adequate time on a play and polish each detail," said Wang.

Wang said the script looked like a complaint about life at first sight, but the play is actually discussing the meaning of life.

Monodrama explores the inner world of a contrabass player

A poster for the play

"It discusses the social class divisions, problems that everyone faces. I hope every audience can find the connection between the play and their lives when walking out of the theater," he added.

Performance info:

Dates: April 12 to May 5, 2pm/7:30pm

Tickets: 280-380 yuan

Venue: Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center 上海话剧艺术中心

Address: 288 Anfu Rd 安福路288号