The True Story of Ah Q


New Youth Group

Adapted from Lu Xun

Directed by Li Jianjun

World Premiere


October 19, 2023, 20:30 

October 20, 2023, 20:00

October 21, 2023, 20:00

October 22, 2023, 20:00

WHERE: Sun Moon Plaza 

Duration: 120 minutes (without intermission)

Performed in Chinese, with English subtitles

About The True Story of Ah Q

Since the publication of The True Story of Ah Q, the name Ah Q has gradually become a symbol representing the character flaws and inherent "inferiority" of the Chinese people. The term "spiritual victory" has forever been associated with Ah Q as the psychological defense mechanism of a loser. It is almost synonymous with Ah Q himself. Even today, people use the term "spiritual victory" to mock a failure or to self-deprecate. In this sense, Ah Q continues to live on without any signs of fading away.

On the other hand, the novel also depicts certain special moments of Ah Q: times when he experiences failure, boredom, and momentarily forgets about the so-called spiritual victory; or when he finds himself in a desperate situation in Weizhuang and temporarily forgets about the spiritual victory, needing simply to find a way to survive. Ah Q decides to venture outside to seek sustenance, and even begins to doubt his previous pursuits. However, these are fleeting moments, as he ultimately continues to survive by relying on "spiritual victory." Our play begins towards the end of the novel, where Ah Q once again faces failure. Ah Q embarks on another quest to survive. Will this time bring about an alternative way of life for Ah Q, beyond the realm of the "spiritual victory"?


Adapted from the novel by Lu Xun

Directed by Li Jianjun

Text Adaption by Ma Wenqi

Cast: Wang Chenyang, Zhang Jiahuai, Wu Zhoukai, Cui Wei, Gao Jianwei, Wu You, Wang Yunhan, Kan Yueran, Li Chenyang, Wang Ruoxue, Wu Zhiwei, Wang Ziyang, Li Yuanyuan, Xu Yuxuan

Stage Design: Yang Kaiqiang

Costume: Wu Lei, Ai Sitong

Lighting: Liu Hengzhi

Music: Luka

Movement Coach: Wang Xuanqi

Video: Cao Chan

Associate Director: Yang Mingchen, Gao Jianwei

Literary Assistant: Guo Mengye, Liu Chang, Zheng Yanyu

Sound: Ke Xiaoyan

Assistant Stage Design: Lian Shiyao, Zhaoyang Yulan

Make-up: Jiang Yiyao

Camera: Ayziba abulikemu

Set Production: Liu Haifei

Stage Manager: Cui Yutong

Assistant Stage Manager: Lv Xintong

Assistant Production Manager: Qin Xiaxin

Producer: Wang Qingyang

Production: New Youth Group

About Li Jianjun

Li Jianjun is an independent theatre director, living and working in Beijing. In 2011, he founded the New Youth Group. Li Jianjun is an important practitioner of contemporary theatre art in China. His series of theatrical works reflect his concern for the living situation of ordinary people. He combines his experience of the historical visual arts with the study of theatre media, which gives his work a distinct spirit of innovation. In recent years, his works have received extensive attention and controversial discussion because of their critical cultural stance and exploration of theatre aesthetics. This is his sixth prodution at Wuzhen.

About New Youth Group

The New Youth Group was founded in 2011. They have created Madman's Diary, Say Goodbye to Your Shadow, One Fine Day, 25.3km, A Man Who Flies Up to the Sky, Popular Mechanics, A Brief History of Human Evolution, A Welder's Flash, The Metamorphosis, World on a Wire, and The Master and Margarita. The group is devoted to exploring new theatre aesthetics and using the stage art as a tool for intervening in the daily life of contemporary China. New Youth Group has been invited to the Beijing Fringe Festival, Wuzhen Theatre Festival, Festival/Tokyo, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen Germany, Italy VIE Art Festival, and Festival International New Drama (FIND).

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