Shows honour great playwright

August 12, 2019 - 03:15
Various shows will be held this month to mark the 31st anniversary of death of playwright Lưu Quang Vũ (1948-1988). The author of dozens of plays, he is considered as a phenomenon of Vietnamese theatre in 20th century.

HÀ NỘI Various shows will be held this month to mark the 31st anniversary of death of playwright Lưu Quang Vũ (1948-1988).

The author of dozens of plays, he is considered as a phenomenon of Vietnamese theatre in 20th century.


Young artists in Vũ's play Green Daisy on Marsh. Courtesy Photos of Tuổi Trẻ TheatreA scene from the play Believing in Roses.

Popular plays like Ai Là Thủ Phạm (Who Is the Culprit?), Lời Nói Dối Cuối Cùng (The Last Lying Words), Hoa Cúc Xanh Trên Đầm Lầy (Green Daisy on Marsh), and Lời Thề Thứ 9 (The Ninth Oath) with be performed starring artists Minh Hằng, Đức Khuê, Vân Dung, Thu Quỳnh, Bảo Thanh, Thanh Sơn, and Bá Anh. 
The Season is expected to remind the audience of Vũ, a “monument of Vietnamese theatre”, said Meritorious Artist Chí Trung, director of the youth theatre.

The theatre was the first art troupe to stage Vũ’s first play Sống Mãi Tuổi 17 (Forever 17). So far the theatre has staged 15 pieces by the late playwright.

Trung said the programme has been held annually in August in memory of the playwright and his wife, poet Xuân Quỳnh, who were both killed in a car crash along with their 12-year-old son. 

“Vũ was not only a close friend but also a part of my life,” People’s Artist Doãn Châu said. “We lived closed to one another and shared a lot in common to make many plays. Vũ’s plays are always full of desire, help erase pain and make us love life more.”

Châu said Vũ’s plays have many layers of dramatic situations, many profound characters, and contain hope of changing lives.

People’s Artist Lê Khanh, who has played main roles in many of Vũ’s plays said Vũ’s works have many special features.

“His dialogues are excellent, profound, simple, witty and charming,” she noted. “His characters’ dialogues contain sharp and large scale ideas, which are quickly understood by the audience.”

Vũ served as a soldier in the anti-American War from 1965-70, which was when he started to write poems. It wasn’t until the 1980s he become a celebrated poet, featuring 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 50 dramas, most of which criticise the darker side of society, especially corruption and authoritarian behaviour. Many of them earned high literary acclaim.


He married to fellow poet Xuân Quỳnh, whose poem Sóng (Wave) became standard reading material in secondary schools.

The couple died in a car crash on August 29, 1988 when travelling from Hải Phòng city back to their home in Hà Nội. Their 12-year-old son was also killed in the same accident.


Talented couple: poet Xuân Quỳnh (left) and playwright Lưu Quang Vũ. Faimily File Photo

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 programme will be held at the Youth Theatre, 11 Ngô Thì Nhậm Street. VNS