South Korean and Vietnamese bring award-winning work on stage

October 17, 2022 - 09:19
Bến Không Chồng (The Wharf of Women without Husbands) is based on a well-known novel of the same name by writer Dương Hướng which won the Việt Nam Writers' Association Award in 1991.
Việt Nam Drama Theatre will perform 'Bến Không Chồng' in South Korea on November 12 and 13. Photo courtesy of the theatre

HÀ NỘI - A drama under a collaborative art project between the Việt Nam Drama Theatre and the Korea Association of Performance Programme Producers (KAPAP) will be performed in South Korea next month.

Bến Không Chồng (The Wharf of Women without Husbands) is based on a well-known novel of the same name by writer Dương Hướng which won a Việt Nam Writers Association award in 1991.

The script is penned by author Vũ Thị Thu Phương and co-directed by Hoàng Lâm Tùng and Kim Min-jeong.

It tells the story of the Đông Village when the north hurried to build up the countryside while supporting the southern liberation war.

The drama takes audiences back to the days of northern villages and women waiting for their men to return from the two Indochinese wars. The war takes the village’s healthy strong men far away, leaving behind their women waiting at the village’s wharf for their return.

Severely injured after fighting in the battle of Điện Biên Phủ against the French in the first Indochinese war, Nguyễn Vạn longed to return to his home village. However, he struggled with stifling unsound customs and the hundreds-year-old village habits, rumours and public opinions.

Meanwhile, the beautiful girl Hạnh – daughter of Vạn’s ex-girlfriend comes into his life and brings rare moments of happiness. It is about the people’s desire to love and to be loved.

"Both Vietnamese and Korean experienced the pain of war and we all have a will to look to the future," said director Kim at the drama launching ceremony in Hà Nội.

"There are moments in the working progress that make me move. The story's meaning is human featuring a tolerant perspective on the status of women, especially post-war women. They desire happiness and deserve to be happy, Kim said.

"I'm honoured joining the project to direct the meaningful work."

The two directors will focus on character Hạnh representing strong women to overcome barriers and old customs in society.

The directors sometimes argued to defend their points of view however they still find a common artistic opinion, according to director Tùng. The drama will combine modern factors.

The stage background is set in the Đông Village - a typical rural village in the northern Red River delta of Việt Nam where there are green bamboo and banyan trees, water wharf and communal yard.

The set design will highlight the Đình River which will be a symbolising image of the drama. Bến Không Chồng will feature thirteen Vietnamese performers, two Korean actors and musicians.

The drama also brings together leading choreographers promising an impressive work imbued with the styles and traditions of both countries.

This is the first co-operation project between the theatre and the KAPAP aiming to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and South Korea and the 70th anniversary of the theatre establishment.

The drama will be performed in South Korea on November 12 and 13. After that it will return to perform in Việt Nam. - VNS