FRINGE REVIEW – Qing Cheng

*****

There can’t be many production on the Fringe with such lavish production values as Qing Cheng. With costumes by Oscar-winning Tim Yip (of ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’), 3D-effect multimedia projections, martial arts, animated scenery and original music, this is truly a feast for the senses.

Qing Cheng tells the story of star-crossed lovers Princess Jade and Murong, played by real-life husband and wife Tang Zixing and Wang Lida. Both seek help from the Taoist Master of Qingcheng Mountain, but their motives could not be more different. They fall in love when Murong saves Princess Jade’s life.

But as this is an opera, things do not go smoothly for our lovers. The tale is as epic and melodramatic as one could expect from the genre, with the love story ultimately spanning 1,000 years. The two leads are excellent and the music, which includes original compositions as well as traditional Taoist music, should be completely accessible for British audiences.

The pedigree of this production shows throughout – the Qingcheng Mountain sets genuinely look like a beautiful fairyland, the costumes are ethereal and stunning, the music and dance sequences are superbly polished and the performances of a uniformly high standard.

There was unfortunately one serious technical hitch at this performance, which was that the English subtitles appeared only sporadically throughout the first couple of acts. As this was opera and therefore highly stylised, viewers were able to catch up with the story quickly enough once the issue was ironed out.

The final performance of Qing Cheng is the afternoon of Sunday 7th August, so you’ll need to hurry if you want to catch one of the Fringe’s most spectacular productions.

PLEASE NOTE: The Fringe website indicates this show is 1 hr 40 min but
actual running time was 2 hrs

5-7 Aug  times vary @ Usher Hall

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