Imagine my delight when I saw that it was Hu Ge and Liu Tao reunited. The two recently headlined the live stage remake of the 1958 classic The Eternal Wave! They may not have gotten their happily wedded after in the drama, but at least the Nirvana in Fire co-stars do get to play husband and wife in this CCTV production. With nationalist sentiments riding high after the country celebrates its 70th founding anniversary, it’s hardly surprising to have productions out celebrating the country’s heroes.
Hu Ge was cast for the role of Li Xia, a communist party telegraph expert who loyally devoted his life to the revolutionary cause and served as the “air bridge” between Shanghai and Yan’an by radio waves. The actor had previously played a similar role as a spy in his other Republican drama The Disguiser (although as a Kuomintang spy fighting the Japanese government) so he’ll have some familiarity with the genre and the time period. The lovely Liu Tao on the other hand plays his wife He Lanfen, a silk factory worker who was sent to Shanghai to act as Li Xia’s wife and assist him in his clandestine work. While initially faking a husband and wife relationship, the two eventually grew closer to became like-minded life partners as a real couple.
The Eternal Wave is a live stage performance produced by CCTV for its cultural program China in the Stories. I have the greatest respect and awe for actors who do live stage performances – filming in front of an audience made up of cast and crew is daunting enough, but to do it live, in front of an audience with zero retakes is a testament to the cast’s calibre. And they certainly couldn’t have done any better with Hu Ge and Liu Tao. As you can see I’m a fan of these two and I’m super excited to see them working together again after being a wee bit put out that they didn’t end up together in NIF because of circumstances. The unfulfilled longing between these two just seemed to jump out of the screen!
Anyway, enjoy the beautiful visuals of Hu Ge and Liu Tao.