THE CHINE THEATRE IN LONDON
\,v, HEN China became the
" People's Republic" in 1949 many of the actors from the Peking Opera fled to Formosa from the mainland with the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China.
The Operatic Group of the Republic was formed and has retained more than 250 of the original classical plays which are performed exactly as they have been in China for countless centuries.
The short four-week season of play extracts now being given by the Group at the Drury Lane Theatre, London, is a genuine and rewarding glimpse of the East. The exotic silken costumes, the coloured faces (scarlet for integrity, white for treacherous, black for honest but ill-tempered) the superb rhythm and the nimble skill are as dramatic as they are unfamiliar.
The highly stylised singing and music, while completely Eastern, seems, to me at least, to have an echo in the chant of monks of the Coptic Rite and even in our own Plain-song.