The Swallows Have Returned but not My Love
The State of Xiliang has suffered repeated attacks by Xiongnu (the Huns). Crown Prince Wei Jianhun launches a stealth attack on the enemy’s camp but fails. He escapes with wounds and is rescued by village girl Bai Lixiang. They fall in love and marry. Later the King of Xiliang sends Jianhun to the State of Eastern Qi to propose to its Princess Coral so the two states can join forces to fight against the northern invaders. In the meantime, Lixiang has become pregnant. Jianhun’s brother Zhicheng proposes to swap identities with him to hoodwink the Princess. Lixiang and Jianhun vow for a reunion next spring when the swallows return. However, the Princess uncovers Zhicheng’s identity and insists Jianhun give up Lixiang if he wants to join forces. Later the Princess makes up a story to cheat Lixiang and takes away her newborn son for abandonment. General Cai Xiongfeng of Eastern Qi is charged with getting rid of Lixiang, but when he finds out about the Princess’s wicked plot, he helps Lixiang to return to Eastern Qi. Meanwhile her brother, Zhicheng, finds her son by chance. The joint forces of Xiliang and Eastern Qi succeed in defeating Xiongnu, and Jianhun is under obligation to wed the Princess. In the imperial court, Lixiang recounts how she lost her husband and son by the Princess’s deceit and her accusation is corroborated by the testimony of the Princess’s maid. In the end, Lixiang, Jianhun and their son are re-united while the Princess, acknowledging her wrongdoing, marries General Cai.
Lee Lung: Wei Jianhun
Ko Lai: Bai Lixiang
Sun Kim-long: Cai Xiongfeng
Leung Wai-hong: Bai Zhicheng
Janet Wong: Hong Shanhu
Yat Dim-hung: Prince of East Qi
Lo Ming-cheung: Xue Shijie
Lee Ching-yan: Xihua
Liang Zhenwen: Prince of West Liang
Chung Kui-man: Imperial Envoy / Guard
A Story of Two Celestials in the Mortal World
The story takes place in a legendary kingdom called Shuntian. The old king has died, and the new king orders the return of Lü Gaitian, previously a middle-ranking concubine of the late king, who was ordered to be a nun prior to his death. Lü cannot but obey, and returns to the palace with Sima Wan’er, a former palace maid. General Xu Yuanba comes from a loyal family, with his father and grandfather having served previous rulers of Shuntian. He loathes Lü because he considers her a vixen who has put the king under her spell. He castigates her by whipping her three times at the Noon Gate of the imperial palace. The second prince, Li Yi, by order of the king, is to go on an expedition to the southwest. He passes by the Noon Gate, and on seeing him, Lü is enamoured of him right away. Two years later, Lü has come to power. She sends the crown prince Li Nianci to prison in another city, Jingyang, as a move to get rid of a contender to the throne. At the same time, she forges a rumour that a treacherous party of courtiers is scheming a revolt. On hearing the ‘news’, the king panics and dies. The crown prince is tricked by Lü into handing over the imperial jade seal to her. On the day Lü declares herself the monarch, the second prince Li Yi returns. He gains her trust by pretending to be attracted by her. At the same time, leaders in the southeast stage an uprising. Li Yi pretends to lead an army to quell the revolt when he is in fact reenforcing them. At the imperial court, the Prime Minister Hu Renzhi is secretly working to restore the previous dynasty, and tricks Lü into dismissing the imperial guards at the palace. Lü sends her henchman, a eunuch by the name of Rong Lu, to head an army to fight Li Yi. But Rong’s men are no match to Li’s. Lü is besieged at the palace.
Lee Lung: Li Yi
Ko Lai: Lü Gaitian
Ruan Dewen: Xu Yuanba
Sun Kim-long: Li Nianci
Kwok Kai-fai: Hu Renzhi
Janet Wong: Sima Wan’er
Liang Xiaofei: Rong Lu
The Plucky Empress and the Zealous Prince
The Beidi tribes have invaded. To usurp the throne, the Imperial Mentor Jia incenses Prince Qi to vie for the post of Supreme Commander, but the plot is foiled by the valiance of Prince Liang. Jia further uses his niece Qiuhong to entice the valiant Prince Liang, who has long been her secret admirer. He therefore declines the declaration of love from her younger sister, Qiuxia, who offers him a token of a scented pouch. The drunken Qiuxia is violated and killed by Prince Qi, who is arm-twisted by Jia to rebel. Jia further misleads Qiuhong with the scented pouch left behind by Prince Liang and implicates him. The late Empress Dowager had willed that Emperor Wei take a new wife. With the sole intention to avenge her sister, Qiuhong follows her uncle’s suggestion to marry the Emperor, the wedding to take place only after the mourning period is over. Upon seeing the letter forged by Jia, the Emperor is misled into thinking that Prince Liang is a traitor. He issues three imperial orders and twelve imperial tablets to replace Prince Liang with Prince Qi as the commander. Prince Liang, on learning the Emperor is to construct a luxurious maze palace for his new Empress, gate-crashes the palace with a gold mace bestowed on him by the late emperor in his hand. But when he sees the Empress is his old flame Qiuhong, the zealous Prince is no match for the plucky Empress. Qiuhong tries to kill Prince Liang in an ambush in the palace, but luckily Prince Qi returns from his unsuccessful expedition to uncover Jia. The Emperor punishes the wicked courtier, rescinds the intended marriage with Qiuhong, and makes it possible for Qiuhong and Prince Liang to be back together.
Lee Lung: Gongsun Yulong
Ko Lai: Du Qiuhong
Sun Kim-long: Lu Shaocheng
Kwok Kai-fai: Jia Zhongxian
Janet Wong: Du Qiuxia (former) / Binu (latter)
Liang Xiaofei: Wei Xuanzong
The running time of the performance is approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes including an intermission of 15 minutes.
Information provided by the arts group
Please refer to Chinese version.
Tickets available from 18 August onwards at URBTIX outlets, on internet, mobile app and credit card telephone booking.
Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis.)
Please visit www.urbtix.hk for details of opening hours of URBTIX outlets.
Save $8 per ticket for booking through the URBTIX website, mobile app or credit card telephone booking.
Credit Card Telephone Booking：2111 5999
Programme Enquiries：2268 7325
Ticketing Enquiries：3761 6661
Credit Card Telephone Booking：2111 5999
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme and substitute artists.
The programme does not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
Pre-performance & Post-performance Talk - Telephone Registration Only
Starting from 10am on 27 Aug 2021 (Fri)
Pre-performance Talk [ Pre-performance talk concluded successfully in September 2021. Thank you for your support! ]
3 September 2021 (Fri) 7:30pm
AC1, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Speaker: Ko Lai, Ruan Dewen and Ng Wing-hei, Calvin (In Cantonese)
27 September 2021 (Mon) 7:30pm
AC2, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Speaker: Sum Kim-long and Ko Lai (In Cantonese)
Pre-Performance Talk and Post-performance Talk will be video-recorded and broadcast online later on this website.
1. Date & Time: from 10am on 27 August 2021 (Fri), till quota lasts. (Free admission. Limited seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.)
2. Telephone: 2268 7267 (Mon-Fri: 10am-1pm, 2-5:30pm)
3. Quota: Each person can reserve one seat of each talk. Name and contact number are required upon registration.
4. Reserved seat(s) will be released if any registered person does not show up at the venue 10 minutes after the commencement of the Pre-performance Talk or Post-performance Talk.