From July to November 2023, Shanghai Culture Square's first Israel Theatre Showcase will present the national premieres of three original Israeli classic productions: "The Superfluous Man" "The Dybbuk", and "Hamlet." Together with a number of renowned creatives and actors from Israel's prestigious Mitcha Figa Theatre, Gesher Theatre and Beit Lessin Theatre, the original performances in Hebrew will provide an art feast.
After presenting Hanoch Levin's "The Child Dreams" in 2019, this is the second time Shanghai Culture Square will present a classic Hebrew drama on stage and the first time it will introduce an Israeli drama series.
Israeli drama is both classical and contemporary, local and foreign, experimental and traditional, presenting an eclectic style. In recent years, as more and more Israeli troupes have performed in China, works such as "Requiem," "Village," and "Ghetto" have won high artistic praise and accumulated many professional theater fans. It is the consistent driving force and pursuit of Shanghai Culture Square to introduce such high-quality theater works to the market and the audience.
With the return of overseas performances this year, the Israel Theatre Showcase is an aesthetic expansion and a new attempt to explore top-quality theater works for Shanghai audiences, with the idea to facilitate cultural exchanges between China and abroad, broaden the audience's horizons, and enrich the theater programming. It is hoped that with the effects of the showcase, the audience will be led into a broader cultural field and presented with more diversified international shows in the future.
"The Superfluous Man"
Presented by Mitcha Figa Theatre and directed by Yehezkel Lazarov, "The Superfluous Man" is adapted from "Oblomov," a classic novel by Russian author Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. The novel tells the story of the title character, Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, a wealthy and intelligent man who lives in St Petersburg but is incapable of taking any action, to the point of being unable to get out of bed. The novel vividly shapes the literary classic image of Oblomov as a "superfluous man." The director observed and thought about people's languor and "lying flat" during the pandemic, thus adapted and created the play, which was highly praised by audiences, the media, and critics, and was called "a cultural event that uplifts the mind."
July 8-9 (2 performances)
The famous Jewish writer, polemicist and political and cultural activist S. Ansky's 1914 play "The Dybbuk" is his most famous work, which has been called the brightest pearl in the history of Jewish theater. The show tells the story of a pair of friends who make a marriage contract for their children, but when the two children grow up, the girl is promised to someone else by her father, and the poor boy turns to a dybbuk –a malicious spirit in Jewish mythology – for help. The play was described by Israel Today as "impeccable, with the utmost concentration and intelligence in every aspect, and the imagery is well chosen and beautifully rendered on stage."
October 27-28 (3 performances)
"Hamlet" is presented by the Beit Lessin Theatre and adapted by Israel's award-winning director Yair Sherman, whose play "Requiem" toured China in 2019. This is a contemporary, surprising and wild adaptation of one of the greatest plays of all time. Hamlet, the young prince, sets out to investigate the death of his father, and to take revenge. But nothing is as simple as it seems. His relationships with his mother, his lover, his friends, the country and himself, are undermined as he continues on his path, between reality and illusion, between being or not being.
November 10-11 (2 performances)
Follow Shanghai Culture Square's official WeChat account "上海文化广场" to buy tickets. The purchasing interface is in Chinese, so you are advised to make the purchase in person at the ticketing office on 221 Shaanxi Rd S.
Shanghai Culture Square
Address: 597 Fuxing Rd M.