A Chinese lattice pattern

The Secret of Dongting Lake

Adapted from a Chinese fairy tale by Michelanne Forster  

Chen must leave his life in a poor fishing village and sail across Dongting Lake with General Ho's army. When the general shoots a seal, Chen saves its life and helps it escape. Moments later, a fierce storm whips out of nowhere and destroys the general's ship. Chen is washed ashore on a mysterious island where he is thrown into a dungeon full of hungry rats, falls head over heels for an enchanting princess and discovers the astonishing true identity of the wounded seal.

Set in ancient China, this play shimmers with magical creatures and fabulous costumes.

A Chinese lattice pattern


55 minutes (approx)


Roles for 75 to 270 children

Age Range

Script and costumes best suited to ages 5-13


Janet Holborow


Debz Ruffell, Merlin Ruffell & Jenny Wake


Jenny Wake, Christine Heaney & Khay Ooi

Calico’s standard resource package for The Secret of Dongting Lake includes the script, costumes, scenery, props and pre-recorded music.

$2,500 (incl. GST)

Performing rights are available through Playmarket

Fan dancers make a circle of fans
Seal puppeteer and lady-in-waiting relax during rehearsals
Headshot of the Queen of Dongting Lake
Villagers working at their daily chores, such as fishing and mending nets
General Ho in gold helmet and make-up beard
Two girls dressed as ladies-in-waiting
A girl with wild hair and stylised makeup
Boy in rat costume with crown and Elvis sunglasses
A beaming young girl in rat costume
A steam train

Available from 2021

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