Sat, Aug 22, 2015 - Page 10 News List

Ghostly humor

Taipei Quyituan members perform storytelling with pipa accompaniment on Friday last week in Taipei.

Photo: Hsiao Ting-fang, Taipei Times

To help people overcome their fear of Ghost Month, Taipei Cultural Center’s Dadaocheng Theater is flouting a long-standing taboo by inviting the Taipei Quyituan to perform a cross-talk show that employs dark humor and sarcasm to satirize current affairs, interlacing them with legends and jokes that have to do with human-ghost relationships. The show aims to teach the public to hold Heaven and Earth in awe while presenting the absurdity of human nature. It is hoped that it can help the audience allay their fears through laughter.

The show will take place on Friday next week, which is the 15th day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar and marks the Ghost Festival. The performance includes many segments consisting of ghostly elements. Although these urban legends may unnerve the audience, they will end up revealing the absurdity of human nature in a way that is full of implications about life and death.

Traditionally, a pingshu show is performed by a single storyteller, but times are changing. Now traditional Chinese music has been added to enhance the atmosphere, while improvements have also been made to the pace of the script and the storytelling techniques.

(Liberty Times, translated by Ethan Zhan)






1. absurdity n.

荒謬 (huang1 miu4)

例: Can you not see the absurdity of the whole thing?


2. allay v.

卸下;減輕 (xie4 xia4; jian3 qing1)

例: I sleep a lot because sleeping can help me allay my concern about you.


3. unnerve v.


(rang4…nie1 yi4 ba3 leng3 han4;

rang4 ren2 jin3 zhang1)

例: After having a near-death experience, she thought nothing on Earth could unnerve her.


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