Wuxia plays a very prominent role in Chinese culture and tradition. It often reflects the problems in society by featuring righteous heroes who are here to help the weak and punish the wrong-doers. This year, The Theatre Practice is proud to present its first-ever theatre performance on Wuxia. Let’s find out what inspired playwright, Liu Xiaoyi, to come up with this exciting piece of work!
Wuxia in Theatre
Wuxia is a popular theme which has appeared through many mediums such as literature, films and TV serials. But theatre is definitely quite a new arena for Wuxia. Perhaps, we are most familiar with the code of chivalry and the heroic deeds associated with Wuxia. One wonders: how will theatre embrace this unique theme that has captured the hearts of many since childhood? Most importantly, how will the martial arts and pugilistic skills be portrayed on the stage right before your eyes!
Liu Xiaoyi and his Wuxia Characters
Xiaoyi has come up with several original characters in Legends of The Southern Arch. He shared that he imagined himself to be each of his characters in order to develop their distinctive traits and dialogue. Also known as a versatile actor in local Chinese theatre, Xiaoyi will be acting in this upcoming production as Shi Buqiong（石不穷）. How does he juggle these two different artistic roles? According to Xiaoyi, every character originates from the playwright and perhaps the character Shi Buqiong does resemble him to a certain extent.
Wuxia in Local Context
A successful Wuxia story usually sees multiple different adaptations. For example Two Peerless Heroes （绝代双骄）by Gu Long（古龙）in the 70s has been made into TV serials, films, comics etc. An avid reader of the Wuxia genre since young, Xiaoyi draws his inspirations from a variety of works ranging from classic Wuxia films in Hong Kong to works by Tsui Hark. Some may think that it is difficult to incorporate Wuxia into the local context. However, the struggle for power found in Wuxia is actually quite similar to the Kiasu (fear of losing) mentality in Singapore. Wuxia stories usually depict a group of martial artists in hot pursuit for some secret manual, treasure or the “number one” title. Aren’t we also in continual pursuit of a better life during the past sixty years in Singapore? This interesting parallel of power struggle, chivalry and passion is what draws Xiaoyi to the legendary world of Wuxia.
Don’t miss the chance to witness the earth-shattering battles of Wuxia characters in theatre!
Click here to grab your tickets to Legends of the Southern Arch at SISTIC now!