2021-08-30 04:24:08 Written by Hing Yu
Base on the internet information, Cantonese usually call crickets “Ququ”. Since ancient time, people have raised crickets and used them for fighting other crickets. No matter the normal people or the royal family and nobles, they will give their own crickets a prestigious name, and let their own crickets to fight with other crickets. Who is the winner and then who is the king, the lost crickets will not only lose their own lives, but also they will embarrass their owner.
The children’s dramas that I often watched in Hong Kong, even if they have animals as the theme, it should be cats or dogs, otherwise will be dinosaurs or beasts. One of the playwright from “The children’s Drama Playwright Cultivation Programme” that hold by POP Theatre, has written a script about crickets, and it was performed in Tun Mun Town Hall during the period of summer vacation.
The drama named “Ququ”. It shows that the playwright wants to build up a children’s literature from the script. So that the content of the script is not only about imagination, and also with Chinese historical background. The fifth emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Xuanzong Zhu Zhanji, was named Xuande. He was considered a more cultured emperor, but he loved hunting, food, and cricket fighting, which caused complaints from officials and common people. The play “The Cricket” uses this history as the background of the story, describing the court’s forced recruitment of crickets from the people. The father of the little boy Xu Zai failed to catch the crickets and hand them over to him. Qiao devoted himself to cricket, and was sent to the imperial court to compete with pheasants…
The script didn’t forget the gist, and it is concise and clear, without redundant preaching. The main character (Xu Zai) has loved small animals since he was young, and after became a cricket, he has a better understanding of animal instincts. In order to save Cricket and his father who was arrested, Xu Zai, defying hardships and obstacles, determined his will, shouldered courage and strength, and finally saved himself from danger.
As a theatre performance, the drama “Ququ” is lively and has a strong Chinese cultural color. The whole play is accompanied by live music with drums and gongs, and benches as the unfixed scenery. The director let the actors to use folding fans and lanterns as props, that become poetic embellishments of being moths and fireflies. Actors also used opera whips and feathers as costumes and props to pretend crickets’ tentacles and front feet, and fought on stage with opera moves. Although the action skills can still be improved, the whole play has been able to establish a complete aesthetic style, so that children and audiences can benefit physically and mentally.
(The above is a translated version, original text is only available in Chinese.)