The Qing Ding Pearl

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The Qing Ding Pearl (《慶頂珠》, simplified 庆顶珠) is a Chinese play. It dates to the Song Dynasty and is still performed in adapted forms in the Beijing Opera.[1]

The play is known by other titles:[2] Two sections ( zhe) of the main play are sometimes performed separately as The Fisherman's Revenge《漁夫恨》 or A Fisherman Kills a Family (《打漁殺家》, simplified 打渔杀家 dayu sha jia)[3] also Collecting the Fishing Tax (《討漁稅》 taoyushui).


The play tells the story of Hsiao En, a poor fisherman and his daughter who seeks bloody revenge after their livelihoods are taxed away by the overbearing Ting Yuan Wai. Ting Yuan Wai sends tax collectors and boxers to Hsiao’s fishing vessel but the fisherman refuses because the tax is illegal and the river had run dry. There's no fish for him to be taxed on. Two swashbucklers named Li Chun and Ni Jung help Hsiao En. The now bloodied Boxers escape and report to Ting Yuan Wai. For his transgression, Hsiao is whipped. Angered, he and his daughter go to Yuan’s residence – The Ting Mansion. They sneak in, his daughter wearing the Qing Ding Pearl to masquerade as a noble. Inside, the pair slays everyone inside.


The play is a xipi (西皮 western skins) play.


The twentieth-century Chinese actor Mei Lanfang frequently performed the role of the fisherman's daughter to great acclaim.


  1. ^ The Longman anthology of drama and theater: a global perspective Michael L. Greenwald, Roger Schultz, Roberto Darío Pomo - 2002 -p571 "It is best known as The Qing Ding Pearl (pronounced "chin deen"), a reference to the engagement pearl that Chinese maidens wear on the crown of their bridal headpieces. In this story the pearl takes on magic powers because it allows the ."
  2. ^ They sing theatre: the aural performance of Beijing opera Elizabeth Wichmann University of Hawaii, 1983 p554
  3. ^ 寂寞沙洲冷: 周正榮京劇藝術 - p160 王安祈, 李元皓 - 2003 "父與女的堅強與軟弱《打漁殺家》賞析《打漁殺家》是全本《慶頂珠》故事的兩折,又叫《漁夫恨》、《討漁稅》,由於劇本結構的凝鍊、人物語言的鮮活生動、主題意識的色彩強烈,再加上演員的不斷創造,故此這齣戲歷久彌新,在不同的時代環境下都大受歡迎"