After 70 years, Hokkien opera troupe Xiao Kee Lin takes its final bow

Xiao Kee Lin troupe leader Xio Kim Kee going into the crowd to thank the fans at its final performance last night.
Xiao Kee Lin troupe leader Xio Kim Kee going into the crowd to thank the fans at its final performance last night.PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN, AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES
Xiao Kee Lin troupe leader Xio Kim Kee going into the crowd to thank the fans at its final performance last night.
TROUPE LEADER XIO KIM KEEPHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN, AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

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The working crowd in MacPherson walks by a large white tent, oblivious to the colourful scene unfolding within.

Behind a stage, performers are adjusting their elaborate headgear, wigs and glittery robes. They include troupe leader Xio Kim Kee, who is playing a crown prince in an opera loosely translated as "I would not marry anyone but you".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 22, 2018, with the headline 'Hokkien opera troupe takes its final bow'. Print Edition | Subscribe