Young artists to perform new, experimental play at national traditional theatre festival

May, 16/2022 - 10:28
Young artists from will perform a new experimental play set in the third century BC at the National Tuồng and Traditional Theatre Festival that starts next week (May 17).

 

Young artists from the HCM City Tuồng Theatre will perform a new experimental play at the National Tuồng and Traditional Theatre Festival held May 17-28 in Nghệ An Province. — Photo courtesy of the theatre

Thu Anh 

HCM CITY — Young artists from the HCM City Tuồng Theatre will perform a new experimental play set in the third century BC at the National Tuồng and Traditional Theatre Festival that will start tomorrow.

The play, performed by members of the HCM City Tuồng Theatre troupe, will feature tuồng or hát bội (classical drama), a unique Vietnamese art that developed from a folk art into a royal art in the 17th century. 

The new experimental play, titled Chiếc Áo Thiên Nga (Swan Coast), is written by Lê Duy Hạnh and Hữu Danh. 

It deals with patriotism, honesty, love and betrayal based on depictions in Vietnamese folk stories. 

The play is set during the reign of King An Dương Vương, founder of the Âu Lạc Kingdom in the third century BC. 

King Vương uses a magic crossbow to protect his kingdom, Âu Lạc, from invaders. His only daughter, Princess Mỵ Châu, falls in love with Trọng Thủy, a son of Triệu Đà, the lord of a rival state that borders Âu Lạc in the north.

After their wedding, Châu tells Thủy the secret and method of using her father’s magic crossbow. Thủy informs his father how King Vương protects his kingdom. Âu Lạc is attacked and defeated.

King Vương kills Châu for her betrayal before killing himself. 

Tuồng consists of singing and dancing accompanied by music. Artists wear heavy costumes and use their body, from the fingers to the elbows to all of the muscles, to move on stage. — Photo courtesy of the theatre

"The tale of Mỵ Châu and Trọng Thủy has been being staged by many theatres with different genres of art such as tuồng, chèo (traditional opera) and cải lương (reformed theatre),” said the play’s director Đông Hồ. 

“In our version, the artists will offer a unique style of tuồng combined with new concepts in structure, conversation and directing style.

“We hope that young audiences will learn about Việt Nam’s history, culture and lifestyle from the play,” he said. 

Director Hồ uses young talents Ngọc Giàu as Princess Mỵ Châu and Bảo Châu as Trọng Thủy; as well as a chamber orchestra of traditional musicians.  

Tuồng song, dance and music is highly stylised and filled with symbolism. 

Artists wear heavy costumes and use their body, from the fingers to the elbows to all of the muscles as they sing and dance at the same time 

Tuồng consists of singing and dancing accompanied by music. Artists wear heavy costumes and use their body, from the fingers to the elbows to all of the muscles, to move on stage. — Photo courtesy of the theatre

The 2022 National Tuồng and Traditional Theatre Festival in being held in the central province of Nghệ An. It is organised by the Performing Arts Department under Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. 

The 12-day event will be a chance for actors, particularly young talents, to perform and share skills and experiences, and expand their repertoire, organisers said.

It will feature more than 250 artists from State-owned and private theatres and troupes in Hà Nội, HCM City and provinces of Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam, Huế, Khánh Hòa, Bình Định, Thanh Hóa and Hà Tĩnh. — VNS