The scenes were a comedy sketch, two musical pieces, a lion dance - of a lion giving birth! - and a folk tale. All numbers were in Vietnamese where about 20 actors take part.
Scene One: An Old Man Carries His Wife on His Back To The Festival
Scene Two: Hue Royal Music (Nha Nhac)
Scene Three: Lion Giving Birth
Scene Four: Ho Nguyet Co Turning Into A Fox
Scene Five: Hue Royal Music
For hundreds of years, Tuong (classical drama) has become an essential part of the Vietnamese people’s spiritual and cultural life. To express their aspiration, ordinary people organize shows where performers tell the audience folk stories. Audience interaction is one very important part of this theatre.
Produced with the concept of attracting the same audience that swarm the Water Puppets, such show would probably take some time before tourists take to the show. One big hurdle is language. Since the presentation’s ultimate enjoyment is based on understanding the text of the plays, it would have to deal with helping their audiences understand what is actually being presented.
I was watching the play stills outside the theatre, and found out that the actual play was gonna open tomorrow, which would be too late for me. Just then, a well dressed gentleman spoke with me. He actually invited me to watch a dress tech of the show “for free” as long as I spread the word. That’s easy really. I was told to come back in an hour’s time. Dinner first.
Located at 51 Duong Thanh at the Hoan Kiem District, this was at the heart of Hanoi. Nearby was a day market, the Cyclo, a French-Vietnamese Restaurant, and a street lined by shops. I was able to walk along Duong Thanh and I noticed that the street is divided into districts. Every 2 blocks, the area would change into a themed product. Example, In the first 2 blocks, all the streets would sell wedding invitations and wedding cards; the next would sell beds; further on plastic bags, and so on.
I seem to get lucky getting invited to free shows when I’m overseas. In London, I got into a taped-as-live show through Time-Out Magazine. It was interesting and I had fun. At least I could understand what was going on during the show.