From Peter Pan to Lady Precious Stream seminar

Wednesday 20th January 2016, 6.30-8.00 pm
Room UG04, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

Diana Yeh (City University, London)
From Peter Pan to Lady Precious Stream

An illustrated talk by Diana Yeh on a famous Chinese artistic couple who hit the London theatre stage in the 1930s with the play, Lady Precious Stream. A short film of this play will be shown. Organised by our colleagues in Modern Languages and Culture, in collaboration with the Meridian Society and the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at Westminster.

Shi-I Hsiung translated several English novels and plays into Chinese, including Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman and James Barrie’s Peter Pan. When he came to London, he adapted the Chinese Beijing opera Wang Baochuan into Lady Precious Stream, a modern Chinese drama in English which hit the London stage – the Little Theatre in the Adelphi – in November 1934. It was so successful and popular that it went on to be performed in other theatres nationwide and in other countries, including the USA, starting in Broadway, New York. Royalty and celebrities went to see the productions and the Hsiungs were feted as celebrities too. Diana Yeh tells the story of the Hsiungs and analyses their role as representatives of the new, modern Chinese cultural élite who brought Chinese culture to the West and introduced English culture to China during this period. She analyses their contribution and reception within the context of the contemporary images of China and the Chinese (‘John Chinaman’ and ‘Fu Manchu’) and the changing political and social circumstances leading up to World War II.

The event is free and open to the public. Non-University of Westminster attendees please register with Cangbai Wang by emailing

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