Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Youth Theatre will perform a series of plays at the Lưu Quang Vũ’s Plays Festival from August 4 to September 1 in Hà Nội.
The festival will feature Lời Nói Dối Cuối Cùng (The Last Lying Words), Hoa Cúc Xanh Trên Đầm Lầy (Green Daisy on Marsh), Ai Là Thủ Phạm (Who is the Culprit) and Lời Thề Thứ 9 (The Ninth Oath).
The festival commemorates the 30th anniversary of the death of playwright Lưu Quang Vũ, who is regarded as an influential author in the country’s theatrical renewal process.
"The Last Lying Words is one of the most successful plays at the Youth Theatre," said Trương Nhuận, the theatre’s former director.
"The play is Vũ’s message about the truth against the lie. It awakes people to social evils such as achievement-addiction, corruption and authoritarian behaviour by local officials."
The play was written based on Vietnamese folk tales and features a love triangle where deceit and music are the order of the day, with country girl Lụa tricked by deceitful boy Cuội.
The play debuted in 1986, directed by People’s Artist Phạm Thị Thành. During her career she staged more than 200 plays, including 25 by Vũ. "Vũ always gave me his new works to read," said Thành.
The play was named Cuội, Bờm and Lụa at first. After Thành read the script she suggested changing to The Last Lying Words to give the name a broader meaning.
"The plays by Vũ reflect the darker side of society. But he always highlighted human dignity and he always believed in the truth, the fair and the ideal," Thành said.
Vũ was born in the northern province of Phú Thọ, although his father, playwright Lưu Quang Thuận, came from the central province of Quảng Nam.
Vũ served as a soldier in the anti-American War from 1965-70, when his poems began to gain recognition. But it was in the 1980s that he became a celebrated poet, writing about life in the post-war period and during the process of national renewal in the late 1980s.
His dramas, short stories and poems were charactised by their gritty realism and great humanity. He wrote some 50 dramas, most of which criticise the darker side of society, especially corruption and authoritarian behaviour. Many of them earned high literary acclaim.
He was married to fellow poet Xuân Quỳnh, whose poem Sóng (Wave) became standard reading material in secondary schools. The couple died in a car crash in 1988 when travelling from Hải Phòng city back to their home in Hà Nội. Their 12-year-old son was also killed in the accident.
The country’s highest awards, the Hồ Chí Minh Prize in art and literature, were posthumously given to Vũ in 2000 and Quỳnh in 2017.
The festival will be held at the Youth Theatre, 11 Ngô Thì Nhậm Street. — VNS