Hazardous Games around Hearts and Arrows
The romantic comedy “Hazardous Games around Hearts and Arrows” is based on the work written by the pioneering realistic novelist/18 -century famous playwright Pierre Carlet de Marivaux. His works highlighted the personality traits of actors, exquisite emotions, and mental analysis to “internalize” the complexity and contradictions of the characters in his works. He dissected human natures with his unique language characterized by “elegance”, “exquisiteness,” and “particularity,” allowing his characters to grow and transform. It is a style that has not been used and became his unique style in European drama history. Once again, Yi-Shin Taiwanese Opera Troupe challenged itself to produce a drama adapted from the work written by a foreign playwright and collaborated with the European director Lukas Hemleb to begin a new chapter for the Taiwanese operas.
“Hazardous Games around Hearts and Arrows” was performed at the closing ceremony at the 19th Taipei Arts Festival and the 2019 Creative Expo Taiwan. Its unique name came from a creative idea. “Jiumi (Kiss and love)” in the Chinese title is a popular online slang term. Here it is used to describe the theme of this production: “to yearn for romantic love,“ the love and hatred among the main characters are similar to what “A-Zhi” means in Taiwanese, thus, “愛咋”(similar to A-Zhi in pronunciation )is used. In other words, it also means “what’s wrong with love?” and “what is love actually?”
Daughter of Military Supreme Commander, Hua Ruo-yan, was not happy with the engagement her father decided for her and turned her nose up at her father’s so-called good catch – son of the Imperial Censor Feng Qing-yue. To persuade his daughter to agree to this engagement and get married happily, Master Hua agreed to her request to visit Xuan-Miao Temple (to see Feng Qing-yue in person). On their way there, Ms. Hua switched identities with her maid Hua Ye-cai to observe Feng Qing-yue secretly. The day before they switched identities, Feng Qing-yue also requested to see his future wife in person, and he also switched identities with his servant Feng Ding. Their plans were discovered by Master Feng, Master Hua, and Ruo-yan’s brother, Hua Ruo-yun. They decided to stay out of it and see what happened. As the story unfolds, the four young men switching identities fell in love with each other while they were together.
As the story unfolds, we see the fiancé and fiancée resisting each other and the four young men and women getting caught up in a complicated love triangle while having a plan in their minds. Together, they have created “a nice surprise for love” and a one-of-a-kind romantic comedy for Taiwanese opera.