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Young actors bring new life into cross-talk
enorth.com.cn   2008-12-11 09:18


Two young cross-talkers perform in an undated photo.

(CCTV)Xiangsheng, or cross-talk, is a Chinese comedic art especially popular in Beijing and Tianjin. Cross-talk is attracting many young performers, born after the 1980s. They talk about news headlines, catchwords, and the kind of things young people regularly talk about, in their cross-talk routines.

A teahouse near Gulou, or drum tower in Beijing is the headquarters of the young cross-talkers. All are enthusiasts of Xiangsheng. But they're injecting new life into the comedic art form. Catchwords popular among youngsters such as expressions used while chatting on the Internet come into play.

Gao Xiaopan, a cross-talker, said, "We love cross-talk, but we have our own ideas about it. This stage is a forum for us to perform our own adaptations of cross-talk, to present the humor of our generation."

This cross-talk troupe is composed of about thirty youngsters. Some quit their jobs to enlist in the cause. Gao Xiaopan and You Xianchao, who form the backbone of the troupe, initiated the idea. In six months after they first performed in this downtown tea house, they have developed a following among youngsters. The casual ambiance of the tea house, the low price, and the cross-talk with fresh content and style brings in the youthful audience. Shows are always sold out.

You Xianchao said, "We take the form of traditional cross-talk pieces, but put new content into them. Some audiences say our cross-talk pieces are like news reports - but presented in a humorous way."

The young cross-talk troupe performs at the teahouse three nights a week, for three hours a night. The packed house attests to the fact that the post 80s generation's reform of cross-talk is proving a success.


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Editor: Zhang Jialu

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