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Home > Embassy News > 2013
Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming At the Reception of the European Premiere Of The Tragedy of Coriolanus by Beijing People's Art Theatre
(Chinese Consulate-General in Edinburgh, 21 August 2013)


Sir Jonathan Mills,

Lady Davies,

President Zhang Heping,

Consul-General Li Ruiyou,

Artists from the Beijing People's Art Theatre,

Distinguished guests,

Welcome to the reception of the European Premiere of The Tragedy of Coriolanus hosted by Chinese Consulate-General in Edinburgh. I warmly congratulate the stunning success of the Tragedy of Coriolanus at Edinburgh International Festival!

This is the first time that I have attended the Edinburgh International Festival since I took office as Chinese Ambassador to UK. I am delighted to observe the increasing participation of Chinese cultural entities over recent years in Edinburgh. On my first visit to the Edinburgh International Festival I feel very fortunate that I have enjoyed such a superb performance by Chinese artists.

I have three thoughts to share with you about the successful European Premiere of The Tragedy of Coriolanus by Beijing People's Art Theatre.

First, this is another amazing 'home trip'.

Two years ago, during the Edinburgh International Festival, the Shanghai Peking Opera troupe performed The Revenge of the Prince which was adapted from Hamlet.

Last year, the National Theatre of China performed Richard III at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

Only last Wednesday, I watched the premiere of Jane Eyre by Shanghai Ballet Company at the London Coliseum.

Now, Beijing People's Art Theatre has brought a Chinese production of Coriolanus to the home country of Shakespeare, and to the Edinburgh International Festival, the world's most time-honored and largest arts and cultural celebrations.

Coriolanus is a tragedy believed to have been written in Shakespeare's late years. As Mr. Pu Cunxin said, this Chinese adaptation is a tribute to Shakespeare. This performance is a dream fulfilled and a home-coming.

Second, this performance is the quintessence of Chinese stage play acting. Beijing People's Art Theatre has long been the standard setter of Chinese theatrics. It is our national treasure. It set many records in Chinese dramatic history. At the same time it is where the future of Chinese theatre lies.

This production has pooled together the talent of many great artists. These include Mr. Ying Ruocheng the translator, Mr. Lin Zhaohua the director, Mr. Yi Liming the lighting and set designer, and Mr. Pu Cunxin, who plays the title role. The collaboration of so many virtuosos has made this play truly glorious and exceptional. As Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Mr. John Scott observed last night, 'This production is very powerful.'

Third, this is an original interpretation. Many British friends have told me that they were deeply impressed by the music of the show. Indeed, the performance has overwhelmed us by not only brilliant acting but also live rock music. This unconventional marriage of the drama and rock music has given this performance extra vigour. This bold and implausible exploration by Chinese artists has added to the appeal of the Edinburgh International Festival.

For all the above mentioned, I want to thank the outstanding artists from Beijing People's Art Theatre. I am also grateful to the support of Edinburgh International Festival and the KTWONG Foundation. You have blessed us with a visual and auditory feast. Moreover, you are promoting China-UK arts and cultural exchanges. In this way you are increasing mutual understanding between Chinese and British people with your own actions.

I hope in the years ahead Chinese and British cultural circles will build on this performance, and pull together more high quality joint cultural projects. They will contribute to closer cultural links between our countries and stronger friendship between our peoples.

In conclusion, I once again congratulate the success of The Tragedy of Coriolanus at the Edinburgh International Festival by Beijing People's Art Theatre.

I look forward to you bringing to Britain more fine works of Chinese culture!

Thank you!

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