THREE original Chinese musicals — about a legendary Uygur wise man, fragile human relationships and a new version of Jane Eyre — will be staged at Shanghai Culture Square in March.
Afandi, the benevolent Uygur in white robes, is a legendary figure featured in an animation film series very popular with the post-1980s generation.
The musical “Nasirdi Afandi” employs audience interaction to tap into childhood memories. It features the hero who used his wisdom to help the poor while teaching lessons to the rich and arrogant Lord Bayi. It tells the story of a young man who dreams to become Afandi, conquers his own insecurity and pride and finally becomes beloved, kind and brave. It will be staged on March 14 and 15.
The musical also features traditional Uygur elements and music, such as muqam melodies. Oriental dances from China’s far west and Persia will be featured.
The award-winning, tearjerker film “Glass Anatomy” (1983) has been adapted for stage and TV over the years. From March 28 to 30 it will be staged as a musical about an abandoned baby, an orphan, who becomes a popular singer. She must choose between family love, romantic love, career dreams and reality. The popular theme from the film will be played.
Special glass-like materials are used in the stage set and costume design to create a sense of fragility in the relationships among urban people.
The musical version of “Jane Eyre” to be staged on March 7 will present the original story in a more “poetic” way, producers say.