First Great Wall immersive drama to premiere in Yanqing district

Toursits enjoy themselves on the Badaling Great Wall on May 17, 2024. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Toursits enjoy themselves on the Badaling Great Wall on May 17, 2024. Photo: Li Hao/GT

The first large-scale immersive melodrama
Dream of the Great Wall will premiere at the Beijing Expo Park in Yanqing district on June 9, the Beijing Badaling Culture Tourism Group announced on Tuesday.

Based on several representative stories and figures from the history and culture of the Great Wall, the musical drama takes the audience through an epic journey of thousands of years with six classic plays from the Qin (221BC-206BC) to Ming (1368-1644) dynasties. These productions integrate music, dance, poetry and folk customs into one immersive experience. 

As home to the Badaling section of the Great Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Yanqing has been committed to promoting the culture of the Great Wall and inspiring audiences about the profound legacy of this iconic cultural heritage through captivating storytelling. The drama is the latest effort in fostering a deeper appreciation for the Great Wall’s role in shaping China’s history. 

The production team is staging preview shows from May 27 to June 8 before the official debut. Each performance can accommodate more than 1,600 people.

Rong Xinfeng, Party secretary of the tourism group, told the Global Times that the drama is a pioneering initiative in elevating the cultural appeal and tourism experience. “Creating original high-end cultural tourism productions such as dramas is part of our efforts to promote the deep integration and development of both the Great Wall and the Beijing Expo Park,” said Rong. 

In addition to the main stage performance, audiences can walk into the separate interactive theaters to get a close-up view of the arduous construction of the Great Wall. They can also experience the joyous celebration of an inter-ethnic marriage ceremony and engage in poetry guessing activities. These interactive activities offer visitors a deeper understanding of the cultural significance and historical context surrounding the Great Wall, enriching the overall immersive journey for the audience.

Zhai Yanwei, a deputy general manager of group, told the Global Times that the drama is a fresh example of exploring Great Wall culture with advanced technology. 

“In addition to the well-known Great Wall Cultural Festival and Great Wall Concert, we are trying to create new ways to make the rich heritage of the Great Wall accessible to people from all walks of life, allowing people to develop a deeper connection with the cultural heritage site’s legacy,” said Zhai. 

Set against the backdrop of the Great Wall’s watchtowers and ramparts, the stage is arranged to resemble bustling market streets and military camp tents. Utilizing advanced multimedia technology, the production has achieved a grand representation of historical settings, immersing the audience in the ambiance of Great Wall culture, evoking a sense of traversing across millennia in an instant.