03. February 2019
The tale of Tou O is based on Kwan Hanqing’s Zaju of the Yuan Dynasty:
Injustice to Tou O. The new version takes place at Shang Yan, a hell-like city,
full of merciless souls. The story focuses on the protagonist Tou O who keeps
waiting for the reunion with her father and this expectation has lasted for
thirteen years. Once, Tou O is wrongly convicted of murder by a corrupt court
official and is named as the suspect. Coincidentally, the judge appointed in this
case is Tou Tienchang, the father of Tou O. Tou O wishes father would save her.
But Tou Tienchang forces his daughter to bend her head in acknowledge her
guilt. Before her execution, the despairing Tou O makes three horrible curses:
Blood will fly up to the silk flag; Snowstorm will arrive in June; Shan Yan will
suffer severe drought for three years. Three oaths shock the god, who comes
down in human form, asking Tou O to withdraw the oaths in exchange for
survival and justice… What is Tou O’s choice? To live under shadow or to die
Notes from the director
Snow in Midsummer’ is a well-known story in China. The moment when Tou
O makes three horrible oaths to the god triggers off the creation of this new
version of the old classical drama. We see a young female who is struggling out of inferno, waiting hopefully for her father’s salvation, keeping her efforts in seeking the meaning of life. This is a cruel world of merciless people, who do harm to each other. This is an absurd world of ridiculous farce instead of real answers. While facing the choices offered by the god, who is in human form, Tou O determines to die rather than dragging out an ignoble existence. Nietzsche once said through the denial of the existential of god, we can actually live and save this world.
Albert Camus makes me think if self-destructive is the only serious problem of
philosophy. Humankind is always looking towards something inevitable or,
something meaningful even if it ends and becomes nothingness. So, I think it
might be us, the whole body of mankind waiting to be executed and this gives us the clear response of living and choice.
Since the 1990s Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium/Odin Teatret has hosted and been responsible for various international theatre festivals amongst which the recurrent Odin Week Festival (presenting the different aspects of Odin Teatret’s work), Transit Festival (dedicated to the work of women in theatre), the Holstebro Festuge (involving the local community). From the 30th of January to the 4th of February 2019 the first NTL Theatre Festival and Meeting will be held at Odin Teatret, with workshops, work demonstrations, work-in-progress, performances and a symposium. The NTL Festival will present the work of some of the artists and groups that make up the autonomous and connected constellation of NTL long-time residents and co-productions.