"The Pearl Pagoda" tells the story of a poor scholar Fang Qing, who was actually the descedant of the late primt minister, was shunned by her paternal Aunt when he turned up on his uncle's birthday feast to seek financial assistance. She even mocked him by saying she would carry an incense altar over her head to welcome him if he ever make it big in future. Fang Qing felt insulted and was about to leave but was stopped by his cousin Chen Cui'E. Miss Chen had always liked her younger cousin, and in order to aid Fang Qing, she decided to present her family heirloom, the Pearl Pagoda, but disguised as a box of cakes. Miss Chen's father found out about the whole incident and decided to chase after his nephew and had his daughter engaged to him. On his way back home, Fang Qing was was robbed of the Pearl Pagoda not long after by a robber and left to die in the wilderness. However, luck was on his side as he was later saved and topped the imperial examinations 3 years later. He decided to return to the Chen's residence under disguise as a examination drop-out to test his aunt. Fang Qing's aunt realised her follies, and accepted Fang Qing as her son-in-law to compensate for her short-sightedness.
Featured here is the second scene of the show, "Fang Qing Meets His Aunt". Acting the role of Fang Qing and Fang Duohua (Fang Qing's aunt) are Pan Peiqiong and Guo Zhihong respectively. The actor of particular interest to me in this scene is Guo Zhihong. Her portrayal of the snobbish and mean aunt was very comical, yet not diminishing the grace and airs of a nobelwoman. Especially so since this is first time she has been taking on a laodan role! (She used to be a xiaodan and huadan of the troupe)