Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus the King (or Oedipus Rex) will be performed in China directed by the Chinese director Li Liuyi, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts of Beijing from April 11, led by popular actress Jiang Shan.
The program Made in China by Shan includes the presentation of three ancient Greek tragedies and the Tibetan epic King Gesan (in three parts). In June 2012 Sophocles’ Antigone was presented, while Prometheus Bound is scheduled for early 2014.
At a press conference, Li Liuyi noted that the purpose of this project is to share with the Chinese audience the importance of ancient tragedies and contribute to the cultural elements’ exchange. The Ambassador of Greece in Beijing, Theodore Georgakelos mentioned the importance of the presentation of these plays for the further deepening Greek-Chinese cross-cultural institutions.
Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy that was first performed c. 429 B.C. It was the second of Sophocles’s three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Oedipus Rex chronicles the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes who was destined from birth to murder his father Laius and marry his mother Jocasta.
The play is an example of a classic tragedy, noticeably containing an emphasis on how Oedipus’s own faults contribute to the tragic hero’s downfall, as opposed having fate be the sole cause. Over the centuries, Oedipus Rex has come to be regarded by many as the Greek tragedy par excellence.