by S. I. Hsiung

Title from programme for Lady Precious Stream

Wed 27 & Thu 28 March 1935
St Michael's Hall, Northampton


Property Men Kathleen Gardner, Phyllis E. Mason
The Honourable Reader E. Taylor Gooby
Violet H. Kent
Wang Yun Robert J. Thompson
Madam Wang Mabel E. Lenton
Su Graham P. Follett
Wei A. W. Kersey
Golden Stream Millie Putsey
Silver Stream Rose M. Walding
Precious Stream Thelma Bradford
Caroline Horricks, Angela Newitt
Ralph Simpson
Suitors John W. Marriott, Eric Rootham, M. Green Frederick Lane
An Old Sailor
R. J. Darby
The King's Attendant Beryl Sykes
The Army of the Western Regions
Phyllis & Hilda Laughton
Priest John W. Marriott
The Princess of the Western Regions Margaret Smith
Ma Ta & Kiang Hai Frederick Lane, Eric Rootham
Warden of the Pass R. T. Darby
John W. Marriott
Executioner R. T. Darby
So and So John W. Marriott

Producer Victor F. Honniball
Stage Manager G. Gundry White
Lighting Effects
W. H. Shoebridge
Wardrobe Mistress
E. Ives
Business Manager E. B. Ball
Publicity Manager Saul Doffman
Sound Effects
J. H. Spencer

The first amateur production of one of the most successful plays of the 1930s

Lady Precious Stream is little known today but, when it was first produced, it became one of the most successful plays around.

It was the first play to be written and produced in London's West End by someone from China. It ran for 1,000 performances in London, opened on Broadway and, in 1950, was adapted for television.

Its writer, S. I. Hsiung (also known as Hsiung Shih-l or Xiong Shiyi) was born in Nanchang, China, in 1902 and educated at Beijing University. He translated plays by George Bernard Shaw and J.M. Barrie before moving to the UK in 1932, where he studied English literature Queen Mary College, London. Lady Precious Stream was first performed in 1934.

The play is a romantic and comical domestic drama set during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Its themes of love, fidelity, treachery and poetry made it a popular play with pre-war audiences.

Lady Precious Stream went on to be performed by the Northampton Drama League another two times before the decade was out. The group is believed to have been the first amateur company to perform the play.

The group, established in 1931 as The Northampton Town and County Drama League, later became the Northampton Drama Club and then Masque Theatre.

The programme for Lady Precious Stream