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Vietnamese theatre to perform famous Greek tragedy at online Asian festival

Artists from Vietnamese theatre will perform at the sixth Asian Theatre Schools Festival (AETC) 2021 featuring the theme of Ancient Greek Plays, which will be held online in Beijing (China) in May due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnamese theatre to perform famous Greek tragedy at online Asian festival

Set in a mythical era, Prince Oedipus defies the fate of “killing his father and marrying his mother” and becomes King, only to face the most horrible test he could ever imagine. Photo courtesy of Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema

The play “Oedipus the King” —based on the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex— staged by director Bui Nhu Lai and featured by the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema's students will be performed at the event held online from May 18 to 23 due to COVID-19.

According to VNA, the director has modernised the work which focuses on the terrible tragedy of King Oedipus in the process of confrontation and determination to find the truth in the curse that he will kill his father and marry his mother.

"The script is really a challenge for any director and performing artists because of its ideals and the complicated development of the characters," said Lai. As a result, King Oedipus has not been staged in Vietnam before, he added.

Extreme pain is necessary for people to be more mature. It is important that from the deepest parts, man still retains his dignity, his love for humanity and the world, said the director.

This is a good chance for the academy's lecturers and students to access and stage the masterpiece, according to the academy's head Nguyen Dinh Thi, who is an Associate Professor and Doctor of Arts.

"The academy management board wants to improve the quality of training through this work," Thi said, adding that they also aim to make the academy one of the leading training schools in the region.

This institution originated in 1959 with the establishment of the Vietnam School of Stage Arts and the Vietnam Film School. In 1980 these two institutions were merged to become the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema, which has since established itself as Vietnam’s premier theatre and film training institution.

AETC is held by Asia Theatre Education Centre which is an institution for theatre education and study in China.

The motives and main objectives are to establish an effective network to connect theatre schools and organisations in Asia and the Pacific, and enhance communication on theatre education between different countries and areas in the regions.

It also promotes the development of theatre education, creativity, and research by providing a communication platform for all students, teachers and researchers who are devoted to the study and practice of theatre in Asia and the Pacific./.

Hannah Nguyen

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