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Mandarin Cats heading to Beijing

Updated: 2012-12-21 09:56
By Chen Nan ( China Daily)

Mandarin Cats heading to Beijing

Chinese version of Cats feature abundant Beijing elements like bird cages in the stage design. Provided to China Daily

Cats, an award-winning musical by British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, will soon captivate Beijing audience with a Chinese version.

After its premiere in Shanghai in August 2012, the musical has toured cities including Guangzhou and Chongqing and will celebrate its 100th show in Beijing.

According to British director Jo-Anne Robinson and music director Fiz Shapur, who worked on the musical for more than 30 years, the biggest challenges are the translation and localization.

The second longest-running show in Broadway history, Cats has been translated into more than 20 languages including Korean, German and French.

The musical has performed in China twice since 2004 - both times in English.

"The Chinese version is more than the original by combining dialects, actions and local culture," Robinson says. "Changes have been made. For example, like the population of China, we have more cats in the show than others."

To cater to local taste, the show has added a Chinese cat that performs kung fu and wears traditional silk costumes. The dancers will also be performing acrobatics.

In terms of stage design, the director has incorporated Beijing elements, such as bird cages, tanghulu (sugarcoated haws on a stick) and Peking duck.

Some songs will be sung in Beijing dialect. The lyrics of Jellicle Song for Jellicle Cats, based on T. S. Eliot's poem, has been translated by Xue Fan into Chinese four-character idioms. The result is simple and catchy.

Mandarin Cats heading to Beijing

Mandarin Cats heading to Beijing

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