National Theatre of China's Romeo and Juliet and Its Rituals


  • Benny Lim Chinese University of Hong Kong



Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, National Theatre of China, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Tian Qinxin


This paper explores the “Chinese-ness” of this brand new production of Romeo and Juliet by the National Theatre of China, from a ritual perspective. Three main areas were discussed. Firstly, this play has got several religious connotations. The absence of religion in this play’s setting is relevant to China’s current high percentage of atheists. Despite that, several religions, such as Buddhism, Daoism and Christianity, are mentioned in this play. Secondly, the play has also incorporated several Chinese culture and traditions. The use of bicycles as one of the main props can be linked to the cultural significance of bicycles in China. The play also incorporated other cultural and traditional elements such as wedding customaries in China, Xinjiang dance, as well as the Chinese tongue twisters. Finally, the play has incorporated multiple Brechtian moments. Perhaps the Brechtian moments can lead audience to think about the current religious and cultural developments in modern China. 

Author Biography

  • Benny Lim, Chinese University of Hong Kong


    Department of Cultural and Religious Studies,

    Faculty of Arts,

    Chinese University of Hong Kong 


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