Uncertain States "Flee by Night"
Lin Chong, a martial arts master in the imperial guard, is facing a deadly palace intrigue. He must make a life-or-death decision: Should he remain silent in the face of slander against him, betray his convictions, and adapt to the situation? Or renounce his coveted position, leave everything behind, and flee to the outlaws, to the rebellious bandits of the Liangshan Marsh? Lin Chong’s painful self-interrogation, his hours of grappling with his solitary decision, and the moment of his radical choice are the subject of a piece of world theatre. The one act play Flee by Night is a masterpiece of traditional Chinese Kunqu opera. Li Kaixian, an author also forced into exile, wrote the libretto in Shakespeare’s era, drawing on the well-known literary bandit epic for his subject matter.
According to director Danny Yung, one of Asia’s most influential avant-garde artists, the dramatic monologue by military official Lin Chong struggling, in the words of the persecuted author, to preserve his integrity and freedom of thought has lost none of its evocative power. In Hong Kong, where political and social balancing acts are common, Danny Yung has applied highly unorthodox approaches for thirty years to develop an independent avant-garde from traditional theatre’s experimental and subversive essence. The fascinating experiment Yung and his star Ke Jun, Kunqu opera performer from Nanjing, to transform this classic scene succeeds magnificently. Through their minimalist deconstruction, this becomes an emotionally intense and high-charged contemporary work.
In cooperation with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin.
Excerpts from a dialogue between theater scholar CAO Kefei and Danny Yung, the artistic director for Zuni Icosahedron, September 2016