New TV programme on Vietnamese theatre airs

November 05, 2020 - 07:38
The Hồ Chí Minh Television (HTV) is offering a new TV drama programme about Vietnamese theatre in the 1960s and 80s. 


Famous plays in a southern style staged in the 1960s and 80s are part of a new drama programme produced and aired by Hồ Chí Minh City Television. — Photo courtesy of the producer

HCM CITY — Hồ Chí Minh Television (HTV) is offering a new TV drama programme about Vietnamese theatre in the 1960s and 80s. 

The programme, called Chuyện Về Những Vở Diễn Một Thời (Vietnamese Theatre in the Past and Now), features a series of famous plays consisting of dramas, cải lương (reformed opera) and tuồng (classical drama), written and directed by talented artists in the South who played a role in the country’s theatre developments. 

The plays portray southern culture and lifestyles. 

Talks by veteran performers, such as People’s Artist Kim Cương and People’s Artist Bạch Tuyết, are also included. 

The first show featuring Lá Sầu Riêng (Durian Leaf), a dramatic play about southern women written and directed by People’s Artist Cương, aired last weekend. 

People’s Artist Kim Cương, a guru of cải lương and drama in the south. — Photo courtesy of the HCM City Theatre Artists’ Association

 “My wife and I were happy watching Lá Sầu Riêng on TV, although we enjoyed the play on stage in Sài Gòn in 1963,” said Bùi Xuân Trường, a resident of Bình Dương Province. 

“Actress Cương and her staff offered a quality drama in a southern style, a style that requires specific performance skills. I cannot find this on the stage today,” he said. 

Trường also learned more about Cương, owner of the Kim Cương Drama Troupe, and her 50-year career in writing, directing and performance through talks by the actress during the show. 

The next show will feature Thái Hậu Dương Vân Nga (Queen Mother Dương Vân Nga), a cải lương play first staged in 1977 and starring People’s Artist Tuyết and veteran actress Ngọc Giàu. It will air on Sunday, November 8. 

It will include talks by actress Tuyết, who has more than 50 years of experience in cải lương

Tuyết performs as Queen Mother Dương Vân Nga. The role marked a high point in her career. 

Thái Hậu Dương Vân Nga portrays the life and love of Queen Mother Dương Vân Nga, the first queen in Việt Nam who was married to the emperors of the Đinh and Lê dynasties. 

Nga served as Queen Regent of the Đinh dynasty after her husband, Đinh Tiên Hoàng, was assassinated in 979 and when her son was six years old. 

She later decided to cede the Đinh dynasty’s throne to General Lê Hoàn in 980 in order to defend the country before the invasion of members of the Chinese Song dynasty. Hoàn became the first emperor of the Early Lê dynasty. He married and gave Nga the title of empress Đại Thắng Minh. 

Thái Hậu Dương Vân Nga has been restaged many times and has been adapted to a movie. 

“Our programme will offer quality plays with truly southern dramas,” said the show’s producer and art director Đoàn Duẩn. “Through the programme, famous plays recognised as canons of southern theatre will be introduced.”

According to Duẩn, historical plays staged by talented actors such as Thanh Điền, Thanh Kim Huệ and Hồng Vân will also be aired. 

The programme, Chuyện Về Những Vở Diễn Một Thời, is broadcast on channel HTVC Thuần Việt at 10 am every Sunday. — VNS