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Revolutionary playwright dies

Update: May, 08/2014 - 10:03
Tragic loss:: Playwright Hoc Phi passed away on Tuesday.

HA NOI (VNS) — Famed playwright Hoc Phi died at age 102 in Ha Noi on Tuesday after a prolonged illness.

"My father's death is quite similar to an oil lamp that has burnt its last drops. All the family members were with him but he could not utter any last words," stated writer Chu Lai, a son of the playwright.

"He could not finish a film script that he was writing," Lai added.

The playwright's real name was Chu Van Tap. He was born in the northern province of Hung Yen. He joined in the resistance against the French at the age of 14. In 1933, he was arrested and jailed in Hoa Lo Prison, where he was encouraged to write by the former Party General Secretary Truong Chinh.

His first work was a novel Hai Lan Song Nguoc (Two Waves Up) in 1936. During his literary life, he wrote nine novels and over 30 stage scripts, including the popular Ni Co Dam Van (Nun Dam Van).

Most of his works reflected the history of the Viet Nam Communist Party and the sacrifices of the Vietnamese soldiers fighting for the country's freedom.

As a form of modern cheo, Ni Co Dam Van was about the brave revolutionists and was set up in 1976 for the first time, and it became a spotlight Vietnamese stage show in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 2012, the work was revitalised by Viet Nam Cheo Theatre to celebrate Phi's 100th birthday.

"He is a veteran of Vietnamese stage," noted Ha Quoc Minh, former director of the theatre.

Phi was among the foremost people to be honoured the Ho Chi Minh Prize for his contribution to literature and arts. He was also awarded the First Class Independence Medal and the 80-year Party membership badge.

He was director of Viet Nam Drama Theatre and general secretary of Viet Nam Theatre Artists Association.

Phi's funeral will be held at 7am on May 12 at the National Funeral Hall, 5 Tran Thanh Tong Street. He will be buried at the Mai Dich Cemetery, Ha Noi, on the same day.

Hue songstress Diep passes away

Mong Diep, a master of Hue singing and opera, died on Tuesday at the age of 96 in Hue City.

Diep showed her aptitude at the age of 16 when she started the career as a tuong (classical drama) actress. She became a well-known songstress of Hue singing and opera at the age of 19.

During her career, Diep performed the songs of the ancient royal capital throughout the country and overseas.

She performed at the royal palace on the birthday celebration of Queen Doan Huy, mother of King Bao Dai (1913-97), the last king of Viet Nam. Diep also presented typical Hue opera pieces for late President Ho Chi Minh.

When the country was liberated, she continued performing and teaching the art in Hue. She was the first in Thua Thien-Hue Province to receive the State's Meritorious Artist title in 1984. — VNS


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