Youth Theatre to put on play about revolutionary hero

December 13, 2022 - 08:01
The play entitled Sống Mãi Tuổi 17 (Forever 17) is the first play by Vũ (1948-1988). He is considered a phenomenon of Vietnamese theatre in the 20th century.
The play 'Sống Mãi Tuổi 17' (Forever 17) has a tour of high schools, colleges and universities scheduled for 2023. Photo courtesy of Việt Nam Youth Theatre

HÀ NỘI - Việt Nam Youth Theatre will perform a play by late playwright Lưu Quang Vũ on December 13 and 14.

The play entitled Sống Mãi Tuổi 17 (Forever 17) is the first play by Vũ (1948-1988). He is considered a phenomenon of Vietnamese theatre in the late 20th century.

The play portrays Lý Tự Trọng, a young hero in national resistance against French colonialism. It is based on the story Cậu Nhỏ (Little Boy) by veteran Vũ Duy Kỳ.

Forever 17 is set in the early 20th century. Trọng was born on October 20, 1914, in Ban Man Village, Nakhon Province, Thailand. His hometown was in Thạch Minh Commune, Thạch Hà District in the central Hà Tĩnh Province.

He was sent to China to study and work in the Youth Revolutionary Association at ten years old. In 1926, he returned home to work with the task of establishing the Communist Youth Union of Indochina and liaising with the Communist Party of Việt Nam in the south.

On February 9, 1931, during a rally to celebrate the year of the Yên Bái Uprising held in Sài Gòn, Trong shot and killed spy Le Grand. He was later imprisoned at the Great Detention Centre and sentenced to death on November 20 the same year, at the age of 17.

"We staged the play more than 40 years ago," said Nguyễn Sĩ Tiến, the theatre director.

"The message and meaning of the play are still valuable for people today. The play is staged aiming to inspire idealistic and endless determination to overcome all obstacles and show that young Vietnamese have always been the vanguards of volunteer activities for the community."

Playwright Vũ was commissioned to write the play in 1979, and it hit the stage at the end of the year. Winning the gold medal at the National Theatre Festival in 1980 made a milestone for Vũ's career.

He wrote some 50 dramas, short stories and poems during his career. Their social realism and great humanity characterised them. Most of his dramas criticise the darker side of society, especially corruption and authoritarian behaviour. Many of them earned high literary acclaim.

Forever 17 will be performed at 8pm, at 11 Ngô Thì Nhậm Street in celebration of the 12th National Congress of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union taking place from December 14 to 16 in Hà Nội.

The play will have a performance tour to high schools, colleges and universities in the nation in 2023. - VNS