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By Chen Nan ( China Daily )
Updated:2015-07-06 07:44:44Comments Print Mail Large Medium SmallChinese actress Ren Mingsong plays Emily in the monodrama, which is directed by Malaysian Deric Gan.[Photo provided to China Daily]The lone-woman play Emily of Emerald Hill will return to Beijing this Wednesday to Sunday, after its first round of performances in April.Led by Malaysian director Deric Gan, it stars Chinese actress Ren Mingsong and is set in Singapore between the 1930s and 60s.The play tells the story of Emily, a Straits-born Chinese woman, or Nyonya, who married a rich man from a similar background at age 14, and later became a powerful family matriarch.Along the way, she found her compulsive efforts to succeed and her control over the family led to her sons suicide and her husbands estrangement from her.In the end, from dealing with her daughter, she learns that love is about setting people free.The Chinese emigrants to olden-day Malaya and Singapore have kept their traditions alive while embracing local lifestyles, mainly Malay. They have a culture of their own, with language, cuisine and fashion thrown in.Since its debut in 1985, Emily of Emerald Hill, which was written by award-winning Singaporean playwright Stella Kon, has become iconic on stages in Singapore and Malaysia.In 1999, when Gan watched the play for the first time, he was fascinated by male actors portrayal of the only role in it-that of a woman. The play also reminded him of his grandmother.”I read many reviews of the play and the audiences saw the show and said, Thats my mother, or Thats my grandmother. Though Emily belongs to a particular time, its in a way the story of every Nyonya-clever, beautiful and hard-working,” he says.Since then, Gan, who studied medicine in college, decided to leave all that behind and turn to theater. 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