Red Sorghum

Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts and Fairchild International Culture

Adapted from Mo Yan

Produced by Li Dong

Created, Written and Directed by Mou Sen

Co-Directed by Sun Xiaoming


December 3, 2022, 21:00

December 4, 2022, 14:30

WHERE: Wuzhen Grand Theatre

Duration: 135 minutes (without intermission)

Performed in Chinese, with English subtitles


The themes of "Family, race and nation. Life, survival and death" go throughout the play. With its compact, dreamy, romantic and symbolic plot, the play perfectly embodies the never-ending, indomitable "Red Sorghum spirit" from Mo Yan's original work and artistic style, which feels avant-garde even today.

Cao Yuanyong, executive vice president of Zhejiang Literature &

 Art Publishing House; president, Shanghai branch

This work describes not only land, but also people, especially those from the Northeast Gaomi Township. These people are a combination of "heroes and bastards" according to Mo Yan, who uses a phrase from the Shandong dialect which is easily understood everywhere.

The work is totally different from most descriptions of Chinese people and peasants in our modern literary history. Instead, it is splendid, glorious, brave, and romantic. It is quite moving. This remarkable piece has been shown in a lively and vivid manner on the stage today.

 Gao Shiming, president of China Academy of Art

Mo Yan's Red Sorghum is quite a unique work in contemporary Chinese literature. Since every reader and audience member has a different interpretation of "red sorghum," it is difficult for the creators to achieve a stage adaptation. In speaking of the original play of Red Sorghum by Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts (JSCPA), director Mou Sen has explained the original work by way of the writing skills and the fluent directorial vocabulary. The accessible narrative structure and wonderful performances by the actors help to give the audience a better understanding of this adapted literary work.

Ge Dali, artistic director of National Theatre of China; producer

About Red Sorghum

"Northeast Gaomi Township" is a place made famous by Nobel Prize-winner Mo Yan – based on his hometown, it is a location he returns to often in his writings. His first novel, Red Sorghum, already displayed Mo Yan’s ambition for Northeast Gaomi Township.

The novel follows three generations of a family, beginning with Yu Zhan'ao, "my grandfather," and his three women: "the first wife," named Dai Fenglian; "the second wife," Lian'er; and "the third wife," Liu. They bear and raise sons and daughters, and years pass by their labor, love, hatred, and childbearing. Upon the arrival of the Japanese army, men and women in Northeast Gaomi Township, with no regard for personal danger, make enormous sacrifices and bravely fight the invaders to the death in this immortal tale.

Family, race, and nation. Life, survival, and death.

Boundless land, red sorghum, romantic love, free life, heroic resistance, and unyielding people.


Adapted from the novel by Mo Yan

Producer: Li Dong

Narrative designer/Playwright/Director: Mou Sen

Co-director: Sun Xiaoming

Action Director: Jin Zeng

Assistant Director: Diao Chengyu


Fu Jing as Dai Fenglian

Ye Xuan as Dai Fenglian

Yang Yi as Yu Zhan'ao/Hua Bozi

Wang Ye as Hua Bozi/Yu Zhan'ao

Jiang Suting as Lian Er

Li Mengke as Liu Pozi

Zhao Zhouquan as Dou Guan

Xue Qiming as Qian Er

Ma Renjie as Liu Luohan

Jin Daoxinxin as Cao Mengjiu

Lu Zifeng as Hei Yan

Pan Bingchen as Captain Ren

Cui Kai as Captain Leng

Su Zhaoqin as Yan Luogu

Jin Zeng as Yu Daya/Lord Cao'er

Zou Xueqing as Translator

Liu Yanyan as Wang Wenyi's Wife

*Subject to the actual performance lineup

Composers: Li Jingjian, Jin Rui

Sound Director: Yao Dajun

Stage Design: Xin Ge

Lighting Design: Tan Hua

Costume & Style Design: Liu Hongman

Pops Design: Zhao Da

Co-playwright: Ma Yuanchi

Creative Coordinator: Mei Yuezi

Director Assistant: Zhang Liguo

Technical Director: Mei Han

Stage Manager: Cao Yang

Presenters: Liao Yi, Guo Wenpeng, Gong Shenglin

Co-Presenter: An Ting

Supervisors: Li Sisi, Gu Ping, Yao Lei, Wang Yue

Executive Producers: Deng Ran, Zhai Tiantian

General Agent of Tour: Fairchild International Culture

Joint Agent: Chicpia

Guiding Organization: Publicity Department of Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, Publicity Department of Shandong Province Committee of the Communist Party of China

Consulting Organization: Jiangsu Cultural Investment & Management Group Co., Ltd.

Presenter: Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts (JSCPA), Nanjing Poly Grand Theater, Beijing Poly Theatre Management Co., Ltd (Poly Theatre)

Co-presenter: Fairchild International Culture Co., Ltd.

Producers: Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts (JSCPA), Fairchild International Culture Co., Ltd.

About Mou Sen

Mou Sen is professor and PhD supervisor at China Academy of Art, director of the Department of Media Scenography, School of Intermedia Arts (SIMA) and the head of the Narrative Research Institute. He is the founder of Frog Experimental Troupe, an independent troupe in China, and of The Drama Workshop. His plays were already well-known in Europe in the 1990s. Zero File, his best-known work, has been performed almost 100 times internationally—the most-performed Chinese drama overseas. In recent years, he has devoted himself to a narrative reconstruction of the course of modern Chinese history and its immense changes. This has required developing megastructures and episodic dramatic works to reflect the spatial and temporal direction of the subject matter.

His works include Discussion of Chinese Grammar on the "Other Bank," About AIDS, Zero File, Red Herring, Someone to Talk To and Fu De Li, and more.

About Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts

Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts (JSCPA), covering 270,000 sq m and offering over 8,100 seats in 6 halls, remains the largest comprehensive theatre in China. It serves multiple artistic forms, such as opera, music, dance, and theatre. Differing from the single-function playhouse, JSCPA serves as a cultural complex integrating performance management, repertory production, arts exchange, arts popularization and education, conferences, film appreciation, fine art exhibitions, professional recordings and art photography.

About Nanjing Poly Grand Theater

Since its opening on October 2, 2014, Nanjing Poly Grand Theater has continued to introduce high-quality performances from all over the world. The "Nanjing Drama Festival", "Nanjing Music Festival", "Opening the Door to Art", "Weekend Concert", and other thematic performance seasons have been launched successively. Nanjing Poly Grand Theater insists on bringing high standard, high-quality and artistic performances, as well as multi-level art education and activities to the audience, so that the audience can experience the beautiful life brought by art.

About Beijing Poly Theatre

Beijing Poly Theatre Management Company Limited ("Poly Theatre Company" or "Company") is one of three major subordinates of China Poly Culture Group Co., Ltd. and parented by China Poly Group Company. To date, Poly Theatre Company has achieved a highly visible presence throughout our industry chain, engaging in theatre management and operation, performances brokerage, production, ticketing & marketing, and arts popularization & education. The Company has been working in accordance with its stated mission "to popularize the arts and to benefit the general public," and dedicated to "serving the people's need for better cultural products, serving the artists' need to conduct excellent performances and create high quality works, serving local governments' need to promote development of the cultural tourism industry, and serving to establish a global platform," thereby steadfastly forging ahead towards the goal of building a "'4-in-1' internationalized performing arts group that integrates business accessibilities, contents, marketing and arts education."

About Fairchild International Culture Co., Ltd

Fairchild International Culture Co., Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Beijing Chic-PIA International Culture Development Co., Ltd. It is a professional producing company and copyright licensing agent. Fairchild is also the Secretariat of the Producer's Committee of the China Association of Performing Arts. Since its establishment in 2018, it has continuously presented and produced plays including Deling and Empress Dowager by He Jiping, original play Shangganling, non-fictional work Fu De Li, and musicals including The Bad Kids, The Long Night, etc.. Fairchild also co-produced the West End production of Touching the Void.

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