星期五, 8月 24, 2007

Reminiscence as the driving force:《PostMan》by Taiwan Drama Performance

Time: 2:30 p.m., December 17, 2006

Place: Cheng Kung Hall of National Cheng Kung University

Director: Lee, Tsung-Hsi

L'homme a voulu monter vers les étoiles

Écrire son histoire

Dans le verre ou dans la Pierre

Notre Dame de Paris

Try one’s best to draw the scene to the past and tell affecting stories with skills. This is what the audience would find from “Goodbye! Moon of Kaohsiung Harbor”, “Hear Tide”, Scènes de la viee Bohème” and “PostMan”. Since it becomes a tide that pop music draws materials from classic songs, classic dramas have been played in succession. It seems that a wind of reminiscence has been spread over in the theaters of Taiwan.

What makes difference is, the effect brought by the creative script of “PostMan” in the drama's sinking era seems to have overridden the force of experimental innovation. After the Little Theater Movement declined in 1980s, the drama circle experienced a period of “all flowers in bloom” and some groups that deeply root themselves in the field of drama have become eminent out of a lot of troupes. The needs of audience finally subdue the creators and prevent them from climbing toward the unreachable ideals any more.

PostMan” is a very kind performance. Seen from the ages of audience, the play is aimed at a definite audience group. The youth enjoy the hot atmosphere, and experts understand the hidden meaning.


To say the funniness of this play, the first half is quite successful. The affairs of the time being are combined well with the gut, plus some hints foreshadowing later development of the story. The funny drama actions pack the serious background of the era. A tree of sole trunk is boring, while excessive branches will loosen the structure. The first half presents a tree in leafy profusion, a story consisting of complicated elements, worthy of expectation.

Relatively, in the second half of this play, the trunk restrains the development of branches and the story is focused on a single matter, that is, how postman He-Ping sends the eighteen letters to the daughter one by one. To match with the situation, the letters do not indicate the importance of a mother on the growth of a daughter, but seems like candies used by a helpless single father to comfort his daughter.

In the structure of script, the head is some heavier than the foot, and it is difficult to find where is the climax this play. Therefore, the audience must seek fun from the branches, which reduces the strength of the trunk. It is estimated that the purpose of the second half lies in sensibility and expression of emotion. It is a pity that, after the rest between the two halves, the guts of the first half are decrypted too easily, reducing the audience’s expectation on the story and the tension of this play.


The first half is performed with a rapid progress, and the imagination of postman He-Ping is the section I favor the most. From this short section we can see that the director is acquainted with theater language and mise-en-scene. The distinct presentation of projected film shows the delicate thinking and skills of the director. Unfortunately, it seems that he is a little inexperienced in handling older roles and events of longer history. This is the biggest weakness of this play.

However, it is quite successful in the aspect of appetency. To pick out bones from inside an egg, it is a little weak in depth and it seems that the point of itch is not reached.


Though there are not many senior actors in Southern Taiwan, the performance of the actors and actresses in this play can brighten your eyes. I believe that this should be attributed to the director. Actors of same competence can not meet the director’s expectation so precisely in another group.

The He-Ping of 23 years, the He-Ping of 40 years, the squad leader in the army and Chen, Ming-Hung are the most eye-catching roles, but with the increase of years and experiences, the older He-Ping does not show significantly difference in wisdom or behavior. Though the superposition method of “role and his avatars” is used many times, the several He-Pings do not look like a same role.

The shaping of female roles falls into the old pattern: young women smiles lovely, middle-age women endure all kinds of hardships, and old women are cheerless. Obviously, the female roles in this play look flat and thin.


Three-dimensional space is used skillfully on the stage, but it is a pity that the ladder, indicating a bridge of communication, does not function all the time. The design of background curtain is quite special: it will not usurp the roles of other important devices at ordinary times, but play an important role when holding a ball or projecting a film.

The lights are used properly, improving the effect of the drama in several scenes. The ball and the ending are the scenes that deeply impress me. Comparatively, the costume design is not good. The best design is the postman's uniform, but I am just impressed by this uniform only after seeing this play.

During the process of enjoying it, I can’t help remind myself of some films like “Forrest Gump” and “The Kid”. It seems that this play is not created based on the feeling of postman's hard work, but is a topic selected by the script writer. The personal character of director is strong and leads the actors to professionalism. The director's style dominates the actors' personalities.

In addition to the easiness to understand their works, the reasons why Taiwan Drama Performance can become eminent under the unfavorable macro-environment lie in that, they do not make experiments and play deep theory without explicit purposes, and they make the audience feel they are a group of human kindness by paying attention to details. For example, the stamps attached on the postcards, the temporary post office outside the theater, and the evacuation service at the washroom during the break, all these considerations of details are elements for their success.

星期五, 1月 19, 2007







這未嘗不是個開始,就我熟識的同業,每個人幾乎都是從不斷跌倒爬起,思考下個動作、下句台詞該如何處理,從不斷重複當中摸索出自己特有的表現方式。所有的表演藝術形式幾乎都是以此方式工作,正由於劇場有其精粹性,所以有別於同樂晚會。更複雜的是,劇場發展出一套自己的語言,觀眾也許沒有察覺這些語言 ,但對創作者而言,可能終其一生都在不斷尋找此種語言模式。

就一個演出而言,血肉已具備,但欠缺骨幹。 以目前所擁有的元素,仍有其改善空間。



必須強調這是個相當好的創意,不亞於其他國家。陣頭、家將與大仙尪仔的組合具有威嚴與神秘的色彩,非常吸引人。 但如何將行進間精彩的表演放進侷限的舞台將會是未來努力的方向。

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星期四, 1月 18, 2007

newsletter of young critics IATC

This is the website and cover of the newsletter December 2006/January 2007

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