Anorak News | Das Kapital: The Musical

Das Kapital: The Musical

by | 14th, March 2009

CHINA’S Wen Hui Bao hears of plans for Das Kapital, a musical rendering of Karl Marx’s text.

The Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center has recruited director He Nian, who plans to combine elements from animation, Broadway musicals, and Las Vegas stage shows to bring Marx’s economic theories.

To director He Nian, Das Kapital and the theory of surplus value are serious issues, yet he wants to make them fun to watch. He will set the play in a business. In the first half of the story, the employees discover that their boss is exploiting them and learn of the “surplus theory of value.” However, they react differently to the knowledge of their exploitation: some are willing to be exploited by the company, and the tighter they are squeezed, the more they feel they are worth. Others rise in mutiny, but this ruins the company and leaves them out of work. Still others band together and use their collective wisdom to deal with the boss….He Nian said that due to the different points of view held by the boss and the workers, he would borrow the structure of Rashomon to show things repeatedly from different viewpoints.

He Nian has always dreamed of making a musical, and music can be found in his earlier works, The Deer and the Cauldron and My Own Swordsman. Das Kapital brings his dream one step closer to reality. This time, he will bring a live band on stage, and the actors will sing and dance in addition to speaking their lines. Scenes from Zhu Deyong’s comic strips will show up in Das Kapital, too. “The particular performance style we choose is not important, but Marx’s theories cannot be distorted. We’ll have professor Zhang Jun and experts from Beijing act as academic advisors for Das Kapital to ensure that this theoretic classic is performed correctly.

The play will be spread over 27 days, but soon everyone will be doing the laws of motion dance, in unison.

It’s sure to be a hit, and pave the way for other Broadway smashes, like Reaganomics, Thatcherism and amusing yet educational ditty on Iaian Duncan Smith…

Workers of the world, unite! Everybody dance!

Note: The BBC Search For Karl will begin next Saturday.

Posted: 14th, March 2009 | In: Strange But True Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink