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Taiwan's Peking opera stars bring back adaptation of 'Medea'

Wu Hsing-kuo (left) and Wei Hai-min. (CNA photo)

Wu Hsing-kuo (left) and Wei Hai-min. (CNA photo)

Two of the top Peking opera actors in Taiwan, Wu Hsing-kuo (吳興國) and Wei Hai-min (魏海敏), are set to perform their 1994 adaptation of the Greek tragedy "Medea" in Taipei from Friday, according to the Contemporary Legend Theatre.

Wu, a co-founder of the group, who directed and plays the role of Jason in the play, said during a press conference on Thursday that he and his fellow Peking opera actors were experimenting in the hope of creating something new beyond Peking opera.

Wu's wife, choreographer Lin Hsiu-wei (林秀偉), meanwhile, pointed out the dance elements she created for the play while highlighting the involvement of top talent such as Oscar-winning Timmy Yip (葉錦添), who designed the costumes that have been well-kept and will be used in the restaged production.

Lin described the production, the story of which is set in China over 2,000 years ago, as a mix of East and West.
Wei, who plays the title role, said that for her, the play is energy consuming and thought-provoking, as it requires a better understanding of oneself.

"We were all still young when we first put on the playback then, and we didn't think about it that much. Now in the 21st century, it can still enlighten people," she said.

The one-act play, in Mandarin Chinese with both Chinese and English subtitles, is scheduled to be staged at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall through Sunday, before two performances at the National Taichung Theater on Jan. 23 and 24, with another two performances to be staged at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts on Feb. 27 and 28, according to the group.

Taiwan's Peking opera stars bring back adaptation of 'Medea'
Actors of Greek tragedy "Medea" pose for a photo. (CNA photo)