I love traditional Chinese shadow puppet shows for their simple elegance. They usually depict old folk tales. The set up is quite basic- simple light, music, screen and puppets that are made of cardboard or thin coloured acrylic sheets. Controllers move individual puppets around to bring the story to life.
Recently I saw a great show (see above) – the fight between the Snipe and the Clam 鹬蚌相争. The snipe had a flight with the clam. The snipe attacked the clam with its beak and the clam held on to it. Both refused to let go. A fisherman came by and netted them both.
Like most Chinese folk tales, there is always a lesson to be learnt from the story. The lesson of this one is: ‘If both sides refuse to compromise, a third-party will take advantage of the situation.’