The Plot

After 30 years away a wealthy businessman returns to a small town in Jiangsu Province, China. He is here on a mission to find the man who rescued him all those years ago and to show his gratitude with a gift of 5 million Yuan. 


News of the businessman’s intentions spreads fast. Qin, the mayor of the small town, calls Teacher Zhu for help in finding the missing hero. But after days of searching no trace of the man or information about the rescue itself can be found. Too much has changed in the intervening years. Teacher Zhu and his wife Xue face a dilemma; should they continue in their search for the mysterious man or should they take advantage of the situation and the 5 million Yuan fortune.


The Small Town is performed by Jiangsu Huai Opera and is a Chinese Theater production with musical accompaniment by Xiqu Music. The play consists of acting, speaking and vocal.

Jiangsu Huai Opera has been travelling with this story throughout China in the past two years and has created a new wave of discussions in the theatrical world in China.



23 April 2019, De Nieuwe Vrede, Antwerp

English and Chinese Surtitles | No Intermission | 16 +

16:00 – 18:00 (Try-out)

20:00 – 22:00

Doors are open one hour before the performance


26 April 2019, DeLaMar Theater, Amsterdam

English and Chinese Surtitles | No Intermission | 16 +

Doors open:  18:30 | Performance & Lecture: 19:30 – 21:30

Jiangsu Huai Opera

Jiangsu Huai Opera was founded in 1956 and has won numerous national and local awards. The group’s mission is to promote the intangible cultural heritage of Huai Opera, a popular style of drama and musical theatre (Xiqu) in Jiangsu and Shanghai dating back to the 19th century.

Thanks to the forefathers of Huai Opera artists in the past centuries, Jiangsu Huai Opera contributes to the preservation of the rich culture of Chinese opera. They have managed to attract a younger public by combining classic Chinese opera with reflections on recent developments in the Chinese society. Their efforts have been rewarded with the national performing art award, the Grand Splendor Award, in 2016 among others.


Other plays by the Jiangsu Huai Opera

  • Jin Shui Bridge
  • Miraculous Marriage
  • Sunflower
  • Spring Water Flow Eastward
  • Xianglin Sister-in-law


Chinese Xiqu

Chinese Xiqu theatre is usually translated into Chinese Opera. It originates from folk songs and workers’ tunes that are passed on generation by generation. Xiqu theatre is very different from Western drama traditions. The gestures and movements from Xiqu actors are strictly stylised. The facial expressions and the acting are so exaggerated that a visualised world is re-created for the audience and a minimum of decor or technical support is required. A good Xiqu play redirects the audience to different scenes within seconds. The Xiqu Orchestra consists of Chinese instruments i.e. Erhu, Dizi, Chinese percussions.

If you want to know more about the Chinese Xiqu & Huai Opera, please visit the free lecture before the performance of The Small Town.