EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE
愛丁堡邊緣戲劇節


Walking into the theater, I saw the familiar white Apple keyboards that are neatly arranged on the floor against a background of
an open refrigerator. When performers walked onto the stage, human bodies that are irrational things appeared between indifferent and uniform keyboards, which immediately destroyed the original neatness. Wires were winded onto bodies, and sucha connection made the audience have a strong sense of anxiety due to unexpectedly slow movement of the performers, which may also be regarded as a struggle; and in the control between people and electrical products, the balance between them made such a struggle have no round and no direction. When the performers imitated electrical products, their imitations of copiers and cameras were rather intriguing. Every time there was a regular or sudden flash, electrical products completely became vehicles for emotions, or the extension of people, making those who experience such changes totally at a loss. Finally, the struggle changed into madness and human beings became completely irrational, showing the stupidity of loss of reason among electrical products that were still indifferent and uniform. Nevertheless, what this production is trying to express is so much that some information cannot be conveyed, such as those pirate Apple keyboards, or the broken carton on the refrigerator missing the words “MADE
IN CHINA”; these elements concerned with globalization seem to be another complicated topic. Wang Chong also talked about his new productions, Thunderstorm 2.0 as well as The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs and The Chairs 2.0 which have not yet been staged. So our topics expanded, becoming no longer limited to E-Station. Directing well-known plays is often a double- edged sword, which can easily attract other’s attention on the one hand, and become subject to question on the other hand. In Wang Chong’ productions, there has never been lack of big names, for which the reason has been asked too many times, and his works also have very strong exotic flavor. However, when communicating with him face to face, you will find the reason is as simple as the reason why a man loves a pretty girl—simply fond of beauties, hoping that he and the beautiful girl can be well-matched, and eagerly expecting to share the pleasure in falling in love with such a girl with the audience. Many famous works are known by ordinary Chinese audiences through productions they see by coincidence, and such coincidences are rather rare. Therefore, Wang Chong enjoys doing “missionary” work, however, he does not copy what the original works express, but presents these works in his own way, just like preaching a sermon in hip-hop. If Shakespeare’s plays are not introduced in China bit by bit through stories and productions, but get into the hands of Wang Chong, I wonder what they will look like. Thus, it is more appropriate to say that Wang Chong plays with great masters’ works than to say that he stages their works; such playing is an advanced playing method like making jade balls turn around and appreciating dark-red pottery teapots.

Chong is the person who rushes back and forth between theaters, has a particular passion for visual arts and technology, and feels at a loss like other theater fans when he faces a program, fearing to step on “mines” but earnestly desiring to get “golden eggs”. From approval or scorn that he is never stingy about expressing, his pursuit of excellence can be seen.

In this time’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Chinese works do not have much response, which is a normal thing. One reason is
that among thousands of productions, only several of them can stand out from the rest, while the other very important reason
is that contemporary Chinese theater has not been known by foreign audience. In China, contemporary theater has largely been equated to stage plays, and this unique term also causes many formal restrictions on contemporary Chinese theater. Stage plays in China only have a history of less than 100 years, which can not compare with many European countries where stage plays have a history of hundreds of years and even thousands of years. In the eyes of foreign audiences, contemporary Chinese theater is filled with western characteristics, which also dampens their enthusiasm for it. In China where there are hundreds of forms of traditional Chinese opera, most of stages are left to stage plays that are an exotic theatrical form, which is a great pity for theater theorists and practitioners all over the world. In fact, as far as participation in overseas theater festivals is concerned, I believe more in standards of entries with selective nature. Looking at the status quo of arts all over the world, we can find that a well-developed arts festival usually select works that are
the most typical of an area. However, I
do not deny that Chinese stage plays can benefit a lot from the participation in a variety of international theater festivals, which is artists’ opportunities to see more works of others and attempts to establish international working modes. Edinburgh Festival Fringe provides a platform for dialogue, where countless performers themselves are also audiences, emulating and learning from each other. On such a platform, a relaxed attitude is the most important, for no production has to undertake a task of making national theater thrive. At the same time, however, the limited number of Chinese productions participating in Edinburgh Festival Fringe raises a problem for Chinese theater, that
is, how to make more effective use of government funds to encourage Chinese theater to engage overseas exchanges, which is not only for the purpose of making foreign audiences see Chinese theater, but also enabling Chinese artists to have a lot of contact with foreign contemporary arts and then to review and explore national art from different angles.

F.Paperbelle, Frozen Charlotte Productions, photographed by Paul Watt     F.Leaving Limbo Landing - Water ©Matthew Andrews2012

觀者眼裡的《電之驛站》

走進劇場時,滿地整齊排列熟悉的白色蘋果鍵 盤,背景是臺敞著門的冰箱。演員走上舞臺的 時候,人體,這樣不理性的事物出現在冰冷而 統一的鍵盤間,這種工整立刻被打破了。電線 接通軀體,那意料外的緩慢移動讓這種聯繫有着強烈的焦灼感。這也許可以算得上是掙扎, 在人與電器彼此的控制裡,持平的力讓這種掙 扎沒有了回合,沒有了方向。在對電器的模仿 裡,複印機和照相機的片段很耐人尋味。那每 一次或規律或突然的閃光下,電器完全成為情 緒的載體,或者說人的延伸,讓經歷者不知所 措。在最後,掙扎轉化成瘋癲,人類徹底荒謬 了,在一如既往冰冷而統一的電器裡,凸顯出喪 失理性的愚蠢。但是這部作品試圖表達的信息 太多,一些地方不可捕捉。比如那些全部為盜 版的蘋果鍵盤,比如冰箱上缺失的“MADE IN CHINA“的爛紙箱。這些關注全球化的元素似乎 是另一個複雜的話題。王翀談起他的新戲 《雷雨2.0》以及尚未上演的《喬布斯的美麗與 哀愁》還有《椅子2.0》。於是話題從《電之驛 站》開散出去。導知名劇作,往往是把雙刃劍, 容易博眼球,也容易遭質疑。王翀的作品裡,向 來不乏大牌,他被人無數次過地問過為什麼, 他的作品裡,也有很濃重的洋派痕跡。真的坐 下和他交流,你會發現這簡單得和男人偏愛漂 亮姑娘沒有什麼差別,純粹是喜歡,並希望自己 般配,還有,熱切地希望把泡妞的快感和觀眾 分享。很多名作,對於中國的普通觀眾而言,都 是從碰巧看到的作品裡認識的,這樣的碰巧難 之又難。為此,王翀樂此不疲地兼當“傳教士”, 卻絶不照本宣科,經常唱着嘻哈就把經講了。如 果當年莎士比亞不是以有板有眼的故事,劇本 一點點引進中國,到了王翀的手裡,不知又是一 個什麼樣子。與其說王翀在排大師,不如說他 在玩大師,這種玩,是推玉石球,把摸紫砂壺的 高級玩法。

最真實的王翀還是奔波在各個戲場間的時候出 現,對視覺和科技有着特別的熱情,和所有戲 迷一樣和節目冊較着勁,生怕踩到地雷但熱切 渴望金蛋。在他永不吝嗇的稱讚或鄙薄裡,可以 看到王翀對於優秀的追求。

在這一次愛丁堡戲劇節上,中國作品都沒有什 麼聲音,這也是很正常的事情。幾千部戲裡面, 佼佼者永遠只有那麼幾部。但是另一個很重 要的原因是中國當代戲劇藝術並不為外國所 知曉。在中國,當代戲劇已經很大程度上被等 同於了話劇,這個特有的名詞也讓中國當代戲 劇受到很多形式上的限制。話劇來到中國不過 100多年的歷史,這也不能和很多歐洲國家幾百 年,幾千年的積澱匹敵。在外國觀眾的眼裡,中 國當代戲劇洋味兒十足,這也挫傷着他們觀看 的興趣。坐擁幾百種傳統戲曲藝術的中國卻把大多數的舞臺留給了一個舶來品,這對於全世 界戲劇理論家和實踐者而言都是一種遺憾。其 實在參加海外戲劇節上,我還是更相信選拔性 質的參賽標準。一個成熟的藝術節,在縱觀世 界藝術的現狀後,通常會挑選到最能代表一個 地區的作品。但是我並不否認中國戲劇參與各 種性質的國際戲劇節好處,這是藝術家們能看 到更多其他藝術家作品的機會,也是建立國際 化工作方式的一種鍛鍊。愛丁堡邊緣戲劇節提 供了一個對話的平臺,無數的演出者自己也是 觀眾,在彼此觀摩和借鑒。在這樣的一個平臺 上,心態放鬆最重要,沒有一個戲要兼顧民族 戲劇繁榮的重任。但是同時,參與愛丁堡邊緣 戲劇節的中國戲劇的有限數量,也為中國戲劇 提出了一個問題,如何能更有效地利用政府文 化基金來鼓勵中國戲劇海外的交流,這不僅僅 是為了讓外國觀眾看到中國戲劇,也是為了中 國藝術家更多接觸國外當代藝術,從不同的角 度再去審視和發掘民族藝術的一種途徑。


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