Lady Precious Stream is a spoken drama adaptation of a Chinese opera (Wang Baochuan), which was translated into English by Shih. I. Hsiung, a translator, graduate of Beijing University, and close personal friend of the famous Chinese theatre actor Mei Lanfang.
Lady Precious Stream is a rags-to-riches story of love in the face of adversity. Precious Stream is the daughter of a Prime Minister who marries the Palace Gardener against the wishes of her family. Expelled from the palace and disowned by her father, Precious Stream is forced to live as a pauper in a cave with her new husband, Hsieh Ping Kuei. After only one month of marriage, Hsieh is summoned to fight in Mongolia, leaving Precious Stream alone in the cave.
Precious Stream hears that her husband has been killed in action but, in fact, Hsieh has become a King in Mongolia. On the day of his marriage to a Mongolian Princess, he decides to return home to find his first wife. Pursued by the Mongolian Princess, he returns to China. The play ends with Hsieh reconciling his two wives and their families.
The production was revived at Reading University on 8, 9, 10 December 2011 as part of a research project looking into the performance of Chinese opera in the UK.