Mouse Play: Entertainment in the Streets of Chang’an

Experience the charm of street entertainment in Chang'an Street as a talented performer amazes crowds with his mouse play.

Prince Xun said again: There was a person performing a mouse play to make money in the Chang’an Street market. He carried a pouch on his back, in which he kept more than ten small mice. He often took out a small wooden frame in crowded places, placed it on his shoulders, resembling a theater stage. Then he would beat the drumboard and sing ancient variety dramas. As soon as the song started, small mice would emerge from the pouch, wearing masks and tiny costumes, climbing the stage from behind and standing upright, dancing just like humans. The joy and sorrow of men and women perfectly matched the plot of the play.

《鼠戏》

又言:一人在长安市上卖鼠戏。背负一囊,中蓄小鼠十馀头。每于稠人中,出小木架,置肩上,俨如戏楼状。乃拍鼓板,唱古杂剧。歌声甫动,则有鼠自囊中出,蒙假面,被小装服,自背登楼,人立而舞。男女悲欢,悉合剧中关目。

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