Doggie's Nirvana
Jin Yun

BBC Radio 3: Drama on 3

Broadcast: Sunday 23rd July 2006 @ 9:00 p.m.

Jin Yun's 1986 play for the Beijing People's Arts Theatre has become a modern classic of Chinese theatre; a broad, bitter comedy that takes a sideways look at Chinese history through the tortured relationship of one man and a patch of land. This new production for BBC Radio 3 marks the play's first-ever performance in the UK.

Doggie is a nobody. A peasant farmer, his simple desire for a harvest of his own condemns him to 40 years of chaos, as history takes him on a wild switchback of fortunes. While all around him change their stripes to survive the disgraced landlord, the lonely Party Leader, the profiteering village barber, the faithless second wife, the sharp-witted son, the peace-keeping daughter-in-law Doggie is the fool who sticks to his simple dream. In the process, he embodies the hopes, the pain and the farce of China's past, and leaves listeners with a sardonic comment on its future.

Author Jin Yun knows about the land. He was a teacher in Beijing until being purged during the Cultural Revolution, when he spent many years living and working with the peasants of rural China.

Doggie's Nirvana is adapted for radio by Kevin Wong from a translation by the late Ying Ruocheng, eminent actor, director and one-time Vice Minister of Culture in China.

With Duncan Preston [Doggie], Tony Haygarth [Qi], Benedict Wong [Wang], Paul Courtney-Hyu [Shu], Su-Lin Looi [Jinhua], Daniel York [Dahu], and Liz Sutherland [Meng].

Produced and directed by Jonquil Panting.

75 min.


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