|Foxy lady: Minh Cuong (as So) and Nha Uyen (as Madame Nguyen) in a scene fromthe comedy play Canh Mau (Blood Soup). — Photo idol.com.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — The opening scene of Blood Soup (Canh Mau), the Sai Gon Theatre's new play for the Tet holiday, made a strong impression on the audience by producing a shocking nightmare caused by a fox ghost.
The fox ghost, a popular monster in Asian folklore, is a fox who takes the form of a woman who seduces men to drink their blood. It's like a sexy vampire. The version of the fox ghost in Blood Soup is slightly different, but generally stays true to the ghost Vietnamese know and love.
The play is based on a traditional Japanese ghost story transferred to Viet Nam during the late Le dynasty (from 15th to 18th century).
The main character, So, finds himself in a dark, misty wasteland lit only by a beautiful full moon. He's on his way back to his hometown Gia Trung to be with his wife and child, but he's lost his way.
He meets a stranger in darkness that seems familiar, though she has her back turned to him. She is haunting, an apparition, but he does not want to believe it. She tells him he must pray to the woodland god to guide him to his village.
However, they are not the woodland gods as he expected, but the ghosts of women who have been betrayed by their husbands.
Finally, he moves closer and closer to the spirit, to find out who she is. As he turns her around to look at her face, she screams a blood-curdling, inhuman scream.
So (played by Minh Cuong) is a poor yet talented and intelligent farmer. Though he is abused and taken advantage of by the rich Madame Le (Linh Dang), he leads a happy life alongside his wife, Ba (Viet Ha).
His life becomes significantly more complicated upon the appearance of Madame Nguyen (Nha Uyen), a woman who has been called a seductive, blood eating fox ghost.
Will So continue his difficult but safe life with his wife, or will he succumb to adventure by following Madame Nguyen, and face a real life demon?
Blood Soup is written and directed by husband and wife team Aaron Toronto and Ly Nguyen Nha Uyen.
Though she just graduated from the University of Stage and Cinema in 2013, Uyen has already starred in director Nguyen Thanh Son's Huyen Thoai 1C (Legend of 1C) as well as taken the lead role in Luc Lac Huyen Bi (Mysterious Shaking). She also played Roxy, the lead role in Viet Nam's first ever production of the classic Broadway hit Chicago.
She is well known to the Sai Gon Theatre's audience, starring in such plays as Biet Thu Cuoi Duong So 13 (Mansion at the End of Road 13) and Tu Hinh (Death Sentence).
American Aaron Toronto has been working in the Vietnamese entertainment industry for over 10 years in many roles, including as first assistant director on such hit films as De Mai Tinh (Fool for Love) and Chuyen Tinh Xa Xu (Passport to Love), as well as editor on Teo Em (Brother Teo). He co-founded the local professional English language theater group Dragonfly Theatre Company that produced The Little Prince, which was voted one of "The Five Best Plays in Sai Gon 2012" by vietnamnet.vn. As a foreigner fluent in Vietnamese, Toronto is well known for his many TV appearances.
This is not the first time this husband and wife team have collaborated, as they were on the writing team for Ngay Nay Ngay Nay (The Lost Dragon), Ngo Thanh Van's newest film which is now shown in theaters all over Viet Nam.
Blood Soup premiered on February 16 at the Saigon Theater, 130 Cao Thang, Ward 4, District 3. The play was performed throughout the Tet holidays a total of 10 times. Viewers loved the story and characters, saying the story grabs you at the beginning and doesn't let go until it's over. — VNS