The Dream of the Young Chinese Emperor – Chinese Tale to Premiere at Kolibri Theatre

2018. 11. 12.

Based on the well-known 19th-century Hungarian writer Mór Jókai’s tale, the play was written by Péter Horváth and directed by János Novák, who also composed the music for the performance. The play premieres on 17 November 2018.

After his father’s death, fifteen-year-old Chia Ching becomes the Emperor of China. Chinese tradition has it that before his coronation he has to take a wife. In his dream, the young emperor sees a beautiful girl and decides that he will marry no one but her. The girl named Liu-Liu, the Princess of Leaotung – a province which exists today in the Northeastern part of China, by the Korean border, by the name of Liaotung – is also supposed to get married. However, she sees a dream too, and falls in love with the unknown young man, Chia Ching. After many hardships, they finally get to meet, but it turns out that dreams and reality are two different things.

“While Jókai’s tale only represents the young emperor’s story, we follow the girl’s journey as well. Therefore, we put a kind of mirror-story on stage” – says director János Novák, who finds this performance especially challenging because in staging Jókai’s unique, Chinese-themed tale, he could also draw on his fresh, personal experiences he acquired at the ASSITEJ World Congress organized in Beijing in August 2018.

The production features Chinese shadow puppetry as well as a variety of traditional Chinese music and songs, and the actors play classic Chinese instruments.

The main roles are performed by Dániel Nizsai,  Juli Michl, Ági Török and Károly Szívós. The designer is Klaudia Orosz, the choreographer János Lakatos.

The Dream of the Young Chinese Emperor is recommended for ages 7-10. The premiere will be held on 17 November, at 3 PM, in Kolibri Theatre.

Further performances: 18, 19, 20 November, 9, 10, 11 December

Find more information, with a scene-by-scene synopsis in English at