|In thrall: Children watch a puppet show Khuc Hat Ao Lang (Village's Pond Song). — Photo tuoitre.vn
HCM CITY (VNS)— Theatres around Ha Noi and HCM City are staging new plays aimed at entertaining young audiences during the summer holidays and on International Children's Day on June 1.
Young audiences can look forward to several plays along with shows packed with magic tricks, circus performances and puppetry.
The Thang Long Puppetry Theatre will present the first-ever performance of a new water puppetry show titled Khuc Hat Ao Lang (Village Pond Song), which features various popular children's stories.
The appearance of traditional performance styles including cheo (popular drama) and tuong (classical drama) in the shows promises to make children's theatre more appealing.
The Viet Nam Cheo Theatre will stage the first production of three plays in a one-month run from May 24 to June 30. The three plays are based on well-known Vietnamese fairy tales Cay Khe (The Starfruit Tree), Cay Tre Tram Dot (The Hundred-Knot Bamboo) and Thach Sanh.
The theatre is also co-operating with the Viet Nam Circus Federation to stage the Oriental Magic Gala featuring traditional music, cheo and 10 magic performances.
In addition, a number of private comedy groups in the capital are also staging their own shows to entertain children.
As is the case in Ha Noi, several theatres in HCM City have been busy preparing new plays for children.
The IDECAF (Institute for Culture Exchange with France) mini-theatre will present the 25th production of Ngay Xua Ngay Xua (Once Upon A Time), one of the most popular programmes for children in the city, at the end of this month.
This programme will premiere the play Hoang Tu Xau Xi va Co Gai toc vang (Ugly Prince and the Blonde Girl) today. The Indian fairy tale is about a beautiful blond girl who is imprisoned by a demon.
Well-known actors including Thanh Loc, Dai Nghia and Le Khanh will star in the play, which will be performed until July 7 at the Ben Thanh Theatre at 7 Mac Dinh Chi Street in District 1.
Hoang Thai Thanh Drama Theatre will present Ngan Le Hai Dem (One Thousand and Two Nights), a play inspired by the fairy tale Aladdin and the Magic Lamp.
"Plays for children are entertaining but the rehearsals are very hard to organise, because the play attracts the participation of many actors," says artist Luong Duyen.
Ngan Le Hai Dem will be staged beginning on May 31 at the Hoang Thai Thanh Drama Theatre at 36 Le Quy Don Street in District 3.
While theatres in big cities are busy this summer, they can not send their actors to the countryside for performances due to a lack of funds.
Nguyen Thuy Mui, director of the Viet Nam Cheo Theatre said the theatre could not finance performances in rural areas without more financial support from local authorities. This year, the theatre could only sign a contract with Thanh Tri district in Ha Noi, where they will stage an old comedy on May 29.
The puppetry theatres also face financial difficulties that prevent them from performing in rural areas.
Vu Ngoc Cai, director of the Thai Binh Province's Cheo Theatre, says that not many people in the province are willing to buy tickets to watch plays despite their love of the traditional art.
"Only when the shows are free of charge, everyone will be excited to go to the theatre," Cai said.
Nguyen Thi Ngoan, a teacher from Thai Binh Province complains that many children in her province have not had the chance to watch a cheo show and don't know what cheo is.
"I hope a group of performers can get a grant to go to the villages and more remote districts," she said. — VNS