ZdX Theatre - Chinese Opera ABC

Jin Yong Xiqu Theatre – The Smiling, Proud Wanderer

Studio Theatre,
Hong Kong Cultural Centre


ZdX Theatre - Chinese Opera ABC

Jin Yong Xiqu Theatre – The Smiling, Proud Wanderer

Jin Yong Xiqu Theatre – The Smiling, Proud Wanderer consists of several newly adapted xiqu excerpts. It tells wuxia stories of The Smiling, Proud Wanderer in the Naamyam way of storytelling used in Cantonese opera, including Dongfang Bubai transforming from sheng (male) to dan (female); master and apprentice Linghu Chong and Yue Buqun losing their ways between good and evil; Linghu Chong seeking freedom and mastering Nine Swords of Dugu; and Linghu Chong and Ren Yingying finally retiring from battle in The Song of the Smiling, Proud Wanderer.


Jingju (Peking Opera), Kunqu (Kun opera), Naamyam, and the four elements of xiqu are all employed in the performance in memorial of Jin Yong, the master of wuxia literature.


Adapted from Jin Yong’s novel The Smiling, Proud Wanderer

With authorisation from Ming Ho Publications

This project is funded under the Arts Technology Funding Pilot Scheme by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

  • Creative Team


    • Original Novel

      Jin Yong

    • Artistic Director, Curator, Director, Arts Tech Installation

      Mathias Woo

    • Xiqu Advisors

      Zhou Long (Xiqu . Beijing)Ke Jun (Kunqu. Nanjing)Kong Aiping (Kunqu. Nanjing)

    • Xiqu Scriptwriter

      Zhou Long (Xiqu. Beijing)Zhang Jing-jing (Nanjing)Yu Sha-wen (Nanjing)Zhang Xin-jia (Beijing)

    • Performers

      Kong Aiping (Kunqu. Nanjing)Ke Jun (Kunqu. Nanjing)Yang Yang (Kunqu. Nanjing)He Xin-yue (Kunqu. Nanjing)Song Bo-fan (Kunqu. Nanjing)Ren Jia-le (Jingju. Beijing)Yeung Kin-ping (Naamyam. Hong Kong)Zachary Pink YUNG

    • Music Director, Assistant Artistic Director

      Cedric Chan

    • Graphic Design

      Lee Ken-tsai (Taipei)

    • Illustration

      Lai Tat Tat Wing

  • Jin Yong’s Centennial Memorial


    (Image from Sing Tao Daily)


    Jin Yong (1924-2018), born Cha Liangyong (aka Louis Cha), is a Hong Kong literary giant, martial arts novelist, and the founder of the newspaper Ming Pao. Starting from the 1950s, under the pen name Jin Yong, he created fifteen popular martial arts novels including famous titles such as The Return of the Condor Heroes, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, and The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. His works are both literary and entertaining, blending elements of martial arts, mystery, romance, and history, while also reflecting ancient Chinese culture, art, philosophical thoughts, and even knowledge of astronomy and geography. Besides, these novels are rich in plot and diverse in character portrayal, with frequent connections between different works, appealing to a wide range of readers.


    Over the years, his works have been adapted into TV dramas, movies, video games, and other media formats, and have been translated into English, French, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and other languages, contributing significantly to the promotion of Chinese culture overseas. There’s a saying, “Wherever there are Chinese people, Jin Yong’s world of martial arts can be found.”


    Jin Yong’s depiction of the “jianghu” (martial arts world) has inspired countless readers, making his works a precious legacy in the Chinese literary world. On the occasion of Jin Yong’s centennial, Zuni pays tribute to the world-famous literary giant of martial arts through a combination of traditional and modern performing arts forms.

  • A Martial Classic Adaptation



    The Smiling, Proud Wanderer is the thirteenth martial arts novel by Jin Yong, and was first serialised in the daily newspaper Ming Pao from 1967 to 1969. The novel features a rollercoaster plot and characters with distinct and vivid personalities: Linghu Chong, who is upright and unconcerned with conventions; Ren Yingying, who is intelligent and capricious in her devotion; Yue Buqun, who is sinister and hypocritical; Ren Woxing, who is defiant and cunning; Dongfang Bubai, who is unmatched and sensually alluring… The character portrayals are vivid and engaging, making them fondly remembered by readers. The novel has been adapted into various films and television dramas, including versions created by well-known directors such as Tsui Hark and Ching Siu-tung, and it has also been adapted for radio dramas, mobile, and computer games among other multimedia formats.


    The novel depicts the most genuine yet ugly sides of human nature, where so-called reputable martial arts sects are filled with despicable characters, while the unorthodox factions also have their share of heroic personalities. Everyone in the martial world is duplicitous, competing for the Evil-Resisting Swordplay Manuscript and fighting for power and profit through the ages. Linghu Chong, the leading disciple of the Huashan Sect, is a carefree soul wandering the martial arts world but repeatedly facing sinister schemes, killings, and bloodshed. In the martial arts world where the lines between good and evil are hard to draw, Linghu Chong endures many hardships, remains steadfast to his sense of justice, and ultimately, hand in hand with Ren Yingying, leaves the mundane world behind to smile proudly in the face of life’s challenges.

  • Repertoire


    (1) Dongfang Bubai (Kunqu. Sheng Dan)

    Kong Aiping (sheng to dan) as Dongfang Bubai


    Those who seek divine combat skills must first castrate themselves. The undefeatable cult leader is also an obsessive lover who would give up power for attractive men. During his conquest of the martial arts world, Dongfang Bubai has transformed from sheng (male) to dan (female). Is he really invincible?


    Director, Arts Tech Installation: Mathias Woo

    Xiqu Director: Kong Aiping

    Scriptwriter: Zhang Jing-jing

    Performer: Kong Aiping

    (2) Nine Swords of Dugu (Xiqu. Wusheng)

    Ren Jia-le (Wusheng, a martial role) as Linghu Chong


    Linghu Chong is punished with temporary exile at a cliff to reflect on his acquaintance with evil schools. In a cave, he discovers that evil swordsmen had deciphered the secret technique of his own school and loses his faith in the Mount Hua School. At this moment of doubt he meets Feng Qingyang, a senior at Mount Hua School who coaches his swordplay, and eventually masters the all-powerful Nine Swords of Dugu!


    Director, Arts Tech Installation: Mathias Woo

    Xiqu Director: Zhou Long

    Scriptwriters: Zhou Long, Zhang Xin-jia

    Performer: Ren Jia-le

    (3) Linghu Chong: Flee by Night (Kunqu. Wusheng Laosheng)

    • Ke Jun (Laosheng, an old male role) as Yue Buqun (in video)
    • Yang Yang (Wusheng, a martial role) as Linghu Chong


    Linghu Chong is alone in his way of sword-fighting and in his mind. No one is to judge his character. His master, Yue Buqun, haunts him like a ghost. How is he supposed to react to his master banishing him over a letter? Should he bow for forgiveness, or should he stay alone? Agony seeps through a flurry of swords.


    Director, Arts Tech Installation: Mathias Woo

    Xiqu Director: Ke Jun

    Scriptwriter: Yu Sha-wen

    Performers: Ke Jun, Yang Yang

    (4) The Song of The Smiling, Proud Wanderer (Kunqu. Sheng Dan)

    • He Xin-yue (Dan, a female role) as Ren Yingying
    • Song Bo-fan (Sheng, a male role) as Linghu Chong


    Linghu Chong, the most senior apprentice of the Mount Hua School, obtains the music score of The Song of the Smiling, Proud Wanderer, and learned to play the qin (a plucked string instrument) when he encountered a member of an evil cult, Ren Yingying at Green Bamboo Lane. After experiencing turmoil and perils in the martial arts world, the pair played The Song of the Smiling, Proud Wanderer in reconciliation between good and evil.


    Director, Arts Tech Installation: Mathias Woo

    Xiqu Director: Kong Aiping

    Scriptwriter: Zhang Jing-jing

    Performers: He Xin-yue, Song Bo-fan

    (5) Read Sing the Smiling, Proud Wanderer (Naamyam)


    Read-singing in Naamyam Jin Yong’s classic wuxia novel The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. Narrating brutal bloodsheds, singing about favours and grudges in the martial arts world.


    Director, Arts Tech Installation: Mathias Woo

    Naamyam Writing / Performer: Yeung Kin-ping@TroVessional

  • Guided Performance - The Smiling, Proud Wanderer Meets Xiqu



    Local artists, paired with a xiqu artist, will guide you through an excerpted performance of Nine Swords of Dugu in Cantonese, presenting xiqu 101 – showcasing typical gestures and techniques in xiqu namely, singing, recital, action, and martial arts.


    Brimming with the beauty of traditional performing arts, it invites everyone to relish xiqu, delve into the literary world of Jin Yong, and experience Chinese culture and Arts Tech in the theatre!


    Performers: Ren Jia-le, Zachary Pink YUNG

    Vocal (Recording): Yeung Kin-ping

  • Schedule


    Each programme includes three plays:


    【Programme 1】

    Dongfang Bubai + Nine Swords of Dugu 1 + Read Sing the Smiling, Proud Wanderer (Naamyam) 1

    Date & Time: 5/17-25 (Fri-Sat) 8pm, 5/19-26 (Sun) 5pm



    【Programme 2】

    Linghu Chong: Flee by Night + Nine Swords of Dugu 2 + Read Sing the Smiling, Proud Wanderer (Naamyam) 2

    Date & Time: 5/31-6/1 (Fri-Sat) 8pm, 6/2 (Sun) 5pm



    【Programme 3】

    The Song of The Smiling, Proud Wanderer + Nine Swords of Dugu 3 + Read Sing the Smiling, Proud Wanderer (Naamyam) 3

    Date & Time: 6/7-8 (Fri-Sat) 8pm, 6/9 (Sun) 5pm



    【Guided Performance】

    Xiqu Arts Tech presentation, excerpts from Nine Swords of Dugu and Read Sing the Smiling, Proud Wanderer

    Date & Time: 5/23-6/6 (Thu) 5pm, 5/26-6/9 (Sun) 2pm


  • Ticketing


    Available on ZUNI TICKETING* and URBTIX


    Single programme: $280

    Any two programmes: $500

    Standard price for guided performance: $100; children aged 12 or under: free of charge; free seating


    *Enjoy administration fee waiver exclusively on ZUNI TICKETING platform


    【Dual Wuxia Experience】: $500

    Includes one standard ticket each for any two shows from the Jin Yong Xiqu Theatre – The Smiling, Proud Wanderer Programme 1, 2, 3, and Danny Yung Experimental XiquStartup of Wusheng (Original Price: $560)


    【Jinyong Pass: Enjoy all the plays in three weeks】: $630

    Includes one standard ticket each to Jin Yong Xiqu Theatre – The Smiling, Proud Wanderer Programme 1, 2 & 3 (Original Price: $840)


    Chinese Opera ABC Full Pass】: $800

    Includes one standard ticket each to Jin Yong Xiqu Theatre – The Smiling, Proud Wanderer Programme 1, 2, 3, and Danny Yung Experimental XiquStartup of Wusheng (Original Price: $1,120) 

    ◤Giv‧Tic (Programme 1, 2 & 3)^

    Local Full-time Students: $100

    People with disabilities: $140

    Joy 60+ (New Middle Aged 60 or above): $140

    Golden 80+ (Senior Citizens Aged 80 or above): $10

    Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Recipients (CSSA): $10


    ^Limited quota on a first-come-first-serve basis; only one type of discount is applicable each time.

    Buy Online




    Guided performance: ZUNI TICKETING

    Packages: ZUNI TICKETING

    ◤Welfare Tickets*

    Schools: $50

    Clients of Social Welfare Organisation: $10


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    *Only applicable to group bookings. Please apply by sending email to ticketing@zuni.org.hk

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    Enjoy 15% off with Zuni Friends membership number. Available at URBTIX.

    ◤Other discounts

    ▻ Membership Discount at 15% OFF upon purchase of full-fare tickets with membership/ staff card ◅

    ● Broadway Cinematheque bcincphile members

    ● MOViE MOViE members

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    ▻ $20 OFF by presenting the ticket stubs or receipts (max. 2 tickets) ◅

    ● Hong Kong Asian Film Festival Tickets

    ● MOViE MOViE Cityplaza Cinema Tickets

    ▻ Membership Discount at 10% OFF upon purchase of full-fare tickets with membership/ staff card ◅

    ● Member of Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association

    ● Member of The Fringe Club

    ● CineClub Classic & Patron

    ● Students / Staff of Hang Seng University of Hong Kong

    ● Chung Ying Theatre “Energy Fun Club plus”

    ● Friends of The Hong Kong Ballet

    ● Member of HK Philharmonic Orchestra Club Bravo, Young Audience Scheme (YAS)

    ● Member of HKRep Pals

    ● Friends of Hong Kong Dance Company Prestige/Classic Members

    ● Friends of Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

    ● Member of CCDC Dance Inspirations Card

    ● Member of The Hong Kong Association of Theatre Technicians & Scenographers

  • Acknowledgement


    Eslite Bookstore, Kubrick, Dionysus books, Have A Nice Stay, Hunter Bookstore

  • ZdX Theatre - Chinese Opera ABC


  • Terms and Conditions


    English and Chinese surtitles will be given

    Running time approximately 80-90 minutes

    Recommended for ages 6-80 and above

    No latecomers will be admitted, until a suitable break in the performance

    Zuni Icosahedron reserves the right to add, withdraw or substitute artists and/ or vary advertised programmes and seating arrangements.