Beijing Quju Opera Troupe Dragon Beard Ditch

Date:2019-04-01      Source:National Centre for the Performing Arts

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Venue: Theatre
Dates: April 06—07, 2019


Adapted from Chinese author Mr. Laoshe’s work of the same title, Dragon Beard Ditch is a realistic play as an ode to the Chinese people. The story tells about the people's life changes after liberation in Beijing dialect and style. The play premiered in 1996, which won the 8th Wenhua Award for "The Best New Play", the “Ten-One” Project Award from the Beijing Municipal Propaganda Department, and the award for one hundred performances from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture.

Original Author: Laoshe
Playwrights: ZHANG Yonghe, GU Wei
Director for the Original Version: XIA Chun
Director: GU Wei
Performing Art Instructor: ZHANG Shaorong
Deputy Director: WANG Yi
Composer: DAI Yisheng
Orchestration: DAI Yisheng, SU Jie
Set Designer: CEN Baoshan
Lighting Designers: ZHOU Weini, LI Cong
Revival Deputy Lighting Designer: LIU He
Costume Designer: JING Chunchun
Make-up Designers: WANG Huiling, DONG Jinhuan
Props Designer: DING Xiangning
Sound Effects Designer: LIU Yuku
Conductor: SHENG Nianhua

CHENG Baoqing (Madman CHENG): LI Yongde, HU You
Wife of Madman CHENG: GUO Cengrui, SONG Jie
Uncle ZHAO: LI Xiangkui, PENG Yanliang
Aunt WANG: CHI Pin, CUI Wan
Wife of DING Si: CHEGN Hongjing, WANG Yin
Er’chun: ZHOU Lumin
Er’gazi: LIU Qile, JIN Long
Niuzi: HONG Jiali, ZHU Tao
Inspector LIU: ZHAO Haobo, BAO Mingming
FENG Gouzi: HUO Hao
Heixuanfeng: ZHAO Hongchun
Old Er’gazi: PENG Yanliang, LI Xiangkui
Huanhuan: HONG Jiali, ZHU Tao


The Dragon Beard Ditch is a well-known stinking ditch before Liberation. Both shores of the ditch are fully inhabited by different kinds of poor labouring people, such as coolies and artisans. CHENG Shaoting (Madman CHENG), an old artisan who used to be a busker and often suffers from the bullies of local tyrant Heixuanfeng, escapes to Dragon Beard Ditch community and settles down there. His wife Mrs. CHENG opens a cigarette shop stall to earn a living. Unexpectedly, a series of sad things happen at this community. Young bully FENG Gouzi robs Mrs. CHENG of cigarettes; rickshaw driver DING Si is bullied by local despots; DING Si’s daughter Xiaoniuzi drowns in Dragon Beard Ditch. After Liberation, the government punishes local tyrant Heixuanfeng and his henchman FENG Gouzi, and organizes the Dragon Beard Ditch community. The labouring people begin to live a happy life...


Beijing Quju Opera Troupe

The Beijing Quju Opera is an opera created by ballad singers, including WEI Xikui in the early 1950s, when PRC was founded. The opera was formally named, “Beijing Quju Opera” by Chinese author Laoshe in 1952. Quju Opera was born in Beijing, a city steeped in history. Its music is created based on single-string tunes, and spoken parts are written in Mandarin with strong features of the Beijing dialect, which is performed in a realistic rather than conservative style of the traditional opera. The Beijing Quju Opera specializes in staging stories about the Qing Dynasty and modern Beijing, as well as other themes.

About 200 opera works have been produced and performed, winning many awards in recent years. Of the works, Snuff Bottle won the 5th“Five-One” Project Award from the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the CPC and the 6th “Wenhua New Drama Award” from the Ministry of Culture and gold award at the 3rd Chinese Minority Theatre Performance; Dragon’sBeard Ditch won the 8th “Wenhua New Drama Award” from the Ministry of Culture and the “Ten-One” Project Award from the Beijing Municipal Propaganda Department; Beneath the Red Banner won the “National Project to the Distillation of the Stage Art - Nomination for Exquisite Opera”, the 5th Literature and Art Award of Beijing City, and gold award at the 4th Chinese Minority Theatre Performance; Singing won the 7th Literature and Art Award of Beijing City; Yellow Leaves and Red Mansion was shortlisted for the China National Arts Fund, won an excellent drama award at the 4th Chinese Minority Theatre Performance, and was shortlisted for the second Fine Cultural Project List of Beijing City of 2015; Flower Falls Again was shortlisted for the Fine Cultural Project List of Beijing City of 2016, and for the Drama Script Incubation Programme of 2016 launched by Department of the Arts, Ministry of Culture in March 2017; Tenth New Story by the Jian’gan River: The Legend of Buxian won the “Special Award by the Organizing Committee of the 15th Chinese Population Wenhua Award”; Flower Falls Again was shortlisted for the Beijing Arts Fund in 2017. The Troupe went to Taiwan in 1997, 2000 and 2013 respectively and performed YANG Naiwu and Xiaobaicai, Snuff Bottle, Dragon’s Beard Ditch, Tea House, The Yellow Storm, Beneath the Red Banner and Rickshaw Boy. The troupe also performed Snuff Bottle in Berlin, Germany in May 2017, Yellow Leaves and Red Mansion in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in June 2017.

The Beijing Quju Opera Troupe was converted into an enterprise in 2012 and had merged into the Beijing Performance & Arts Group in November 2015. It was named “Civilized Organization of the Capital” by the Capital Spiritual Civilization Construction Commission in 1996, 1998 and 2008. In 2012, to meet the requirements of the cultural system reform, the Beijing Quju Opera was transformed into a solely state-owned enterprise specializing in artistic creations, performances and training. At the end of 2013, the Troupe was identified as a “national key troupe for local opera creation and performance” by the Ministry of Culture. In 2014, the Troupe was named an advanced collective in the national cultural system by the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. The Beijing Quju Opera and the Beijing Quju Opera Troupe are respectively a single genre of opera and a single troupe among the national art varieties and performing arts ensembles.

Beijing Performance & Arts Group

Founded in May 2009, the Beijing Performance & Arts Group is a large-scale solely state-owned cultural enterprise directly subordinate to the Beijing Municipal Government, shouldering the important mission of integrating resources for developing key state-owned cultural enterprises to assist Beijing in developing into a cultural centre and play a demonstrative role in the national cultural system reform. Consisting of 27 enterprises and public institutions, the Group is a state-owned performing arts agency and content provider with the highest asset value in China. The Group has 9 troupes, including the China National Acrobatic Troupe and Beijing Qu Opera Troupe, which has developed into a comprehensive culture and art group specializing in five lines of business including cultural performance, filmdom, sports events, travel and leisure and art training. The Group has ranked among the “National Top 30 Cultural Enterprises” for three times and is a banner for the national cultural system reform.