Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — A conference about the late playwright Lưu Quang Vũ was held yesterday, honouring his significant contribution to the development of Vietnamese stage art.
The late playwright and poet composed 53 short and long plays, hundred of poems, short stories and articles about stage art.
His works are considered timeless. His plays are adapted for a range of art forms, including chèo (traditional Vietnamese opera), cải lương (reformed opera), water puppetry and drama.
Participating writers, poets, researchers along with Vũ’s family discussed his career.
“Thirty years after the death of the playwright, Lưu Quang Vũ is the playwright that has the most number of works. After the sudden death of the ‘Lưu Quang Vũ phenomenon’, Việt Nam hasn’t seen any writer that can fill the gap that he left,” Chairman of Việt Nam Stage Artists Association, Lê Tiến Thọ said at the conference.
Thọ said Vũ died at a very young age of 40 yet in his short life, he worked passionately, sparking the flame of creativity for other writers.
Lưu Khánh Thơ, Vũ’s younger sister said “Scriptwriting is the shortest path that Vũ chose for himself to reach the audience and to express the things that he had been nurturing. Each drama is a facet of the reality where different fates are featured with various levels of emotions: joy, sadness, sorrow or happiness.
“His writings reflect the emotions, aspirations and concerns of the playwright about love, happiness as well as his thoughts about life and his forecast about life and death.
“His writing style is simple and natural. He can bring any topic to his works. His drama raises the voice of the popular – a director, a worker, a doctor, a homeless, a drunk or a vendor. Every walk of life can be featured in his works and become artistic icons conveying deep messages of life. The highlights of many works of Vũ are the sense of humour in the characters that we can find in real life and in ourselves.”
Lưu Quang Vũ was born in 1948 in the northern province of Phú Thọ. At the age of 20, his first poems were co-printed with famous poet Bằng Việt.
From 1978 to 1988, Vũ worked as an editor of the Sân Khấu (Stage) magazine and started composing his first drama Sống Mãi Tuổi 17 (Forever 17). Later he shook Việt Nam’s stage art with a series of plays like Nàng Sita (Sita), Hồn Trương Ba, Da Hàng Thịt (Trương Ba’s Soul, Butcher’s Body) and Lời Thề Thứ 9 (The Ninth Pledge).
Vũ and his wife and son died in a traffic accident in 1988.
He was posthumously awarded one of the most prestigious prizes in art and literature in Việt Nam, the Hồ Chí Minh Prize for his play The Ninth Pledge. in 2000. — VNS