Shijiazhuang Hebei Bangzi Opera Troupe: Mu Guiying Taking Command

Xiqu Centre Grand Theatre


Liu Lisha, winner of the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre, showcases extraordinary skills as the titular heroine


The Yang clan was a family of gallant warriors from the Song dynasty, whose battle legends have inspired countless literary works and Chinese operas for centuries. Mu Guiying Taking Command, a staple in the classic Bangzi repertoire, is centred on one of the most famous members of the family and tells the story of her heading back to battle as an army general in her 50s. This production by the Shijiazhuang Hebei Bangzi Opera Troupe stars the troupe’s director Liu Lisha as Mu. A National Class One Performer and winner of the prestigious Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre, Liu is a well-rounded artist known for her warm and crisp vocals, elegant stage presence and solid martial arts skills.


As the story begins, the Yang clan has not fought for the crown for years, following a fallout between the family matriarch Madam She and the Song Emperor. However, as the kingdom faces foreign invasion, Madam She can’t help but send her two great-grandchildren, Wenguang and Jinhua, to assist the Emperor, who is immediately impressed by their skills and valour. After knowing that they are the children of Mu Guiying, one of the best military leaders in the kingdom’s history, he summons Mu to come out of retirement and take command of the Song army. Despite being well into her middle age, Mu answers the call of duty and once again dons the armour, eventually leading the troops to victory.


Liu Lisha, Zhao Zhenhai, Shi Yanxia, Wang Lin


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