Famous 'cải lương' plays from the 1990s to be restaged

July 17, 2023 - 08:15
Meritorious Artist Quế Trân from the HCM City-based Đại Việt Cải Lương Theatre, one of the region’s leading private traditional art troupes, will perform in a famous play from the 1990s.
STAGE STAR - Meritorious Artist Quế Trân will star in Cô Đào Hát (True Performer), a production that features theatre artists who work and devote their life to expanding 'cải lương', a 100-year-old traditional genre of southern theatre. Photo courtesy of the producer

HCM CITY — Meritorious Artist Quế Trân from the HCM City-based Đại Việt Cải Lương Theatre, one of the region’s leading private traditional art troupes, will perform in a famous play from the 1990s.

Trân plays Cầm Thanh, a beautiful and talented theatre actress, in Đào Hát (True Actress), a tragedy about life and love.

The play depicts the career of Thanh, who works and devotes her life to expand her art, cải lương, a traditional genre of southern theatre which began in the early 1920s in the Mekong River Delta region.

The original version of Đào Hát was written by Nguyễn Thị Minh Ngọc, a well-known female scriptwriter from HCM City.

The play helped its creators, Ngọc and her friend, female director Hoa Hạ, to become a phenomenon in the industry after its release in HCM City in 1998.

Đại Việt Cải Lương Theatre invited director Hạ to join in the new version of Cô Đào Hát to guarantee the play’s financial success.

“In the new version of Cô Đào Hát in 2023, we will introduce cải lương in both old and new styles,” said the play’s director Hạ, who has worked in theatre for 27 years.

Hạ assigned cải lương star Trân and young talents of Đại Việt Cải Lương Theatre to take part in the play because she wanted to “refresh it".

“Trân and her colleagues will offer true cải lương with modern techniques of performance. Our artists will bring the art closer to young people,” Hạ said in an interview with local media before the premiere on July 21.

SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT: Veteran and young actors of HCM City’s Đại Việt Cải Lương Theatre will restage a series of 'cải lương' plays on Vietnamese history and culture this summer. — Photo courtesy of the theatre.

New troupe

Cải Lương Đại Việt Troup established in HCM City in 2019 under the management of scriptwriter Hoàng Song Việt and his partners, Triệu Trung Kiên and Quang Khải of the Việt Nam Cải Lương Theatre.

The troup attracts 30 veteran and young actors, including Meritorious artists Trân and Lê Tứ, both of whom have performed in several hundred plays and TV shows.

Their shows are aimed at young people. Its highlighted plays include Chuyện Tình Khâu Vai (Love Story in Khâu Vai), Thầy Ba Đợi (Teacher Ba Đợi) and Tiếng Gọi Non Sông (The Call of the Nation), which features Vietnamese history and culture.

Cải lương will attract younger audiences if it combine new and modern styles. I believe in our troupe’s future,” said the theatre’s manager and art director Việt.

Artists of Cải Lương Đại Việt Troupe are working to restage a series of historical shows after Cô Đào Hát.

The play Đào Hát will be staged at 8pm on the weekend in August at the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre in Trần Hưng Đạo Street, District 1. — VNS