Fri, Mar 13, 2015 - Page 10 News List

Theater: No place dis-functions like home

In ‘Wall of Fog,’ Taiwanese director Wang Mo-lin re-examines one of the most famously dysfunctional families in Western theater

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Body Phase Studio will perform Wall of Fog, director-playwright Wang Mo-lin’s re-examination of Eugene O’Neill’s classic Long Day’s Journey into Night at the Experimental Theater in Taipei for four shows from March 20 to March 22 as part of the Taiwan International Festival of Arts.

Photo courtesy of Body Phase Studio and NTCH

Since founding the Body Phase Studio (身體氣象館) in 1992, theater critic and director Wang Mo-lin’s (王墨林) productions have focused on cross-cultural communication, especially physical communication, and humanity’s dark side.

In 2011, the company worked with French director Franck Dimech on a production of German playwright Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck, which is about the dehumanizing effect of military life on a young man. Last fall the company was in the Experimental Theater in Taipei performing Journal de la terreur (殘酷日誌), a collaboration with French theater director and writer Fabrice Dupuy about humanity in wartime, as part of the National Theater Concert Hall’s International Theater Festival.

Next week they are back in the black box with Wall of Fog (長夜漫漫路迢迢) as part of the Taiwan International Festival of Arts, with another dark-themed work.

Wall of Fog is a re-examination of US playwright Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece Long Day’s Journey into Night, which Wang created for the 24th Macao Arts Festival in May 2013 to mark the 60th anniversary of O’Neill’s death.

The semi-autobiographical Long Day’s Journey into Night won O’Neill, a Nobel laureate in literature, a fourth, posthumous Pulitzer Prize.

It examines the day in the life of the four-member Tyrone family of Connecticut, who are plagued by addictions, depression, illnesses and financial woes. Their home is no refugee from the outside world, but a battleground of secrets and manipulations, love and hate, shifting alliances and complex relationships.

For O’Neill’s characters, home is a place that they are desperate to escape, but also one that they need to survive.

Words are never as wounding as those that come from those we love.

Performance Notes

What: Wall of Fog

WHEN: March 20 and March 21 at 7:30pm and March 21 and March 22 at 2:30pm

WHERE: Experimental Theater (國家實驗劇場), 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)

ADMISSION: Tickets are NT$600, available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com and convenience story ticket kiosks. Only seats left are for Sunday’s show


Although Wang uses a greater number of actors than O’Neill’s work, he has kept the sense of claustrophobia that characterizes Long Day’s Journey into Night, something the confined space of the Experimental Theater will surely enhance.

The Macau production featured six actors from Taiwan and Macau and ran for two hours with no intermission (O’Neill’s plays are not known for being short).

Wang has reworked the production for Taipei and the company’s Asian tour, shortening it by a half-hour, but still foregoing an intermission. It will be performed in English, with Chinese subtitles.

There will be a post-performance talk by director and cast after Saturday’s matinee.

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