New programme on cải lương, tuồng launched
HCM CITY — A new drama programme about cải lương (reformed opera) and tuồng (classical drama) has been launched by two private theatres in HCM City.
The programme will restage a series of 60 cải lương and tuồng plays that were staged by Minh Tơ and Huỳnh Long troupes, the region’s leading cải lương troupes, in the 1980s and 1990s.
The plays were 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.
Actors from the Sen Viet Stage and Huỳnh Long Cải Lương Theatre are working to launch the programme.
The first show, Lưu Bị Cầu Hon Giang Tả (The Country and the People), featuring a dramatic tuồng play was staged last weekend to audience acclaim. The play highlights patriotism. It features Meritorious Artist Tu Sương and young talents Hồng Quyen and Tu Quyen of Sen Viet Stage.
“Tuồng or hat boi is a traditional theatre of the central region that developed from a folk art to a royal art in the 17th century,” said Meritorious Artist Sương, who has more than 20 years of experience in the theatre.
“My teachers, late People’s Artist Thanh Tòng, veteran actresses Bạch Mai and Minh Hue, worked hard to develop tuồng in southern style, a style that requires specific performance skills.”
“Our actors today will follow in their footsteps to preserve the art,” she said.
The next show will feature To Hiến Thanh Xử Án (To Hiến Thanh is Judged), a cải lương play first staged in 1985 and starring Thanh Sang and Hồng Nga.
The play tells historical events in the Lý Dynasty in 1140 and 1142.
After To Hiến Thanh Xử Án, a series of famous plays featuring historical events and national heroes, will be restaged in new versions. The works highlight traditional culture and lifestyles.
Theatre stars Quế Tran, Trinh Trinh, Điền Trung and Le Thanh Thảo will be featured.
“Our programme will offer quality plays with truly southern dramas,” said Meritorious Artist and theatre director Le Nguyen Đạt of Sen Viet Stage, who is also a founder of the programme.
“Through the programme, famous plays recognised as canons of southern theatre will be introduced.”
According to Đạt, the programme will offer a new play every three months starting on May 15.
The shows will be staged at 8pm on Sunday at Kim Ngan Theatre on 144 Đinh Tien Hoang Street in Bình Thạnh District and HCM City Theatres Association on 5B Võ Văn Tần Street in District 3. Tickets are priced at VNĐ50,000 (US$2) to attract students and people with lower incomes. VNS