I was first struck by the strong sense of the time conveyed in this edition of Thunderstorm. … The voice image, in particular, is more refined and fuller than before. The roaring thunder before the lifting of the curtain captured the audience’s attention, making it the highlight of the play. … The visual images of this edition are improved so that the entire stage art looked more dramatic. The actors move more theatrically, a considerable change upon the earlier grim, subdued style. All these apparently are in keeping with the time, and meet the aesthetic needs of contemporary audience.
Liu Yanjun (Director, research fellow and Ph.D. advisor of China Arts Academy Drama Theatre Institute; Member of Chinese Dramatists Association, Member of Chinese Opera Association)
Written in 1934, Cao Yu’s renowned Thunderstorm boasts to be the repertory of Beijing People’s Art Theatre since its inception. The audience was deeply impressed by the first edition starring such senior artists as Zheng Rong, Zhu Lin and Su Min etc , and the second edition by Gu Wei, Pu Cunxin, Gong Lijun etc.
The third edition of Thunderstorm is a new endeavor to commemorate the 70th anniversary of its publication in 2004 as well as the 50th anniversary of its stage performance by Beijing People’s ArtTheatre. With the help of the senior artists, the young actors dedicated themselves to the interpretation of the classic work. Zhou Puyuan played by Yang Lixin, Fanyi by Gong Lijun, Zhou Ping by Wang Ban, and Sifeng by Bai Hui are widely recognized by the audience. This new edition features endearing stage images, skilled line delivery and passionate performance, bringing the classic work to a new level. According to dramatist Xu Xiaozhong, “The third edition of Beijing People’s Art Theatre conveys a clear message that Thunderstorm has entered a newera”. Pu Cunxin, playing the role of Zhou Ping in second edition said, “Let me quote Mr. Yu Shizhi, Thunderstorm is inexhaustible. I believe there are still more ways to express it, to pass on its legacy to future generations
Since its birth, Thunderstorm has brought Chinese Theatre to a new height. Mao Dun commended it as “the thundering rainstorm in that year”. It has become one of the signature plays of Beijing People’s Art Theatre.