Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Young and veteran performers from the Cải Lương Club of HCM City’s Youth Cultural House will offer new shows to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the club this week.
The artists will stage a series of cải lương (reformed opera) plays based on historical events and Vietnamese fairy tales. They will perform on a stage with sound and light effects.
"Our 18-year old club is the city’s first and only stage to offer free performances aimed at students and poor labourers. The club is composed of professional and amateur artists from many prestigious stages. It brings people, particularly youth, closer to cải lương, a popular traditional genre of theatre in the south,” said art director Thành Bỉ, one of the club’s founders and also a member of the managing board.
"The club is our own place where artists and audiences can meet and share their love for cải lương," he added.
Bỉ’s club has attracted dozens of cải lương stars, such as Út Bạch Lan, Bạch Tuyết, Minh Vương, Lệ Thủy and Thanh Kim Huệ, who are knows as masters of the art.
The veterans have performed with young talents, including Thanh Vy, Thanh Tuấn and Lê Thiện, in many plays based on Vietnamese literature.
"I’m very involved in working at the club because I don’t want to disappoint my audience," said 71 year-old actress Lan. “We stage them for free, but it offers me a big chance to make an impression and show drama lovers what I can do.”
Lan, who has worked with the club’s members since 2001, said all their plays were challenging.
"We’ve tried to help the young actors improve their voice and performance skills in the hopes that they’ll develop a professional career and that the club will become a place for people to enjoy the art in a different way," she said.
The club is part of the Youth Cultural House’s drive to be recognised as a prestigious cultural centre for young people.
"By having this club, the centre can give low-income people an opportunity to enjoy entertainment and improve their knowledge about art," Bỉ said.
One of the club’s featured works recently staged is Hoa Đồng Cỏ Nội (Country Flowers), a tuồng (classical drama) play featuring social problems.
The work attracts students from art schools like the HCM City Theatre and Cinematography University and HCM City University of Culture.
More than 1,000 people attended last Sunday.
“We hope our performance will lure youngsters away from online games and cinemas,” said People’s Artist Lệ Thủy, who works as a theatre director for the club.
The club offers free performance on the last Sunday of the month at 8pm at the Youth Cultural House, 4 Phạm Ngọc Thạch Street, District 1.—VNS