Audience question why showings of ‘An Enemy of the People’ were canceled



Two scheduled showings of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People were canceled in China for “technical problems of the stage”, after it was already staged in Beijing days ago.

Tobias Veit, the director of Berlin’s Schaubuehne theatre, told German news agency DPA Wednesday two planned performances in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, “won’t go ahead”.

After its widely applauded debut in 2016, the esteemed theater has brought a radically revised adaptation of Ibsen’s 1882 original play to a Chinese audience.


It was staged at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, dubbed the national theatre, in Beijing from Sep 6-8, according to China Daily.

An Enemy of the People is story of a whistleblower in a small town whose efforts to speak truth to power are shut down by his self-interested neighbors.

The play both implicates and exhilarates its audience in a conversation about the perils of “democratic” capitalism, China Daily said, noting the play was “set to arouse another wave of strong reactions from the Chinese public”.

German authorities say they regret the cancellation, according to Associated Press.

The official reason, given by Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts, was “technical problems of the stage”, but was disagreed on the Internet by Chinese audience who apparently watched the play in the national theatre.


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