Cast of characters

Under construction

Liang Qichao (1873-1929) Scholar, journalist, reformer, and author of New Rome, an unfinished play which looks to the Italian Risorgomento as a solution for China’s post-Imperial identity. My favourite part is when Shakespeare and Voltaire enter, ‘floating on a cloud’. See Dolby (1976) for a partial translation of the play and for general information

Lin Shu (1852-1924) Literary translator, introducing Western literature to China.  Wrote in classical Chinese.  One of the earliest translators of Shakespeare, he published An English Poet Reciting From Afar (Yingguo shiren yinbian yanyu ) in 1904, one year after the ananoymous Strange Stories from Overseas (Xiewai qitan).  Both were renderings of Lamb’s Tales. Knowing no English, Lin collaborated with Wei Yi. See

Lao She (1899-1966)

Lao She (c) China Culture

One of my personal favourites because I used to visit the Lao She Teahouse in Beijing.  A tourist destination rather than a genuine teahouse, the Lao She is a 1920s  style joint, which puts on a variety of traditional Chinese entertainments, from opera arias to contortionists to cross-talk.  The audience drinks tea from little china cups with lids and nibbles traditional snacks – melon seeds always being a bit of a challenge for a laowai/foreigner like me…  But what of Lao She himself?  A teacher, novelist and playwright, Lao She is most well-known for his novel Ricksaw Boy and his huaju play, The Teahouse.  He taught at SOAS in the 1920s.  Once praised as ‘The People’s Artist’, his persecution during the Cultural Revolution drove him to suicide.  See

Tian Hua

Liang Qichao

Lu Xun

Spring Willow Society

Yuan Shikai

Hu Shi Zhi

Sun Yat-Sen

Chiang Kai-Shek

Guo Moruo (November 16, 1892 – June 12, 1978)

Yu Shangyuan 1897-1970 the founding principal of the National Drama School

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