Sunday , February 25 2024

Famous drama play from the 1980s to be restaged for New Year

NEW VERSION – Veteran and young actors of HCM City’s Hồng Vân Drama Stage will perform in a new musical version of the famous play Công Chúa Ngọc Hân (Princess Lê Ngọc Hân), a production about patriotism, bravery, and love. Photo courtesy of the theatre.

HCM CITY — People’s Artist and theatre actress Hồng Vân and young actors from Hồng Vân Drama Stage, one of the city’s leading private art troupes, are working on a famous play from the 1980s by the late playwright and poet Lưu Quang Vũ of Hà Nội.

Vân’s staff will perform in Công Chúa Ngọc Hân (Princess Lê Ngọc Hân), a story about patriotism, bravery, and love.

The musical depicts the love between Princess Ngọc Hân of the Later Lê Dynasty and her husband, Emperor Quang Trung of the Tây Sơn Dynasty.

Emperor Quang Trung reigned from 1788 to 1792. He was one of the most successful military commanders in Việt Nam’s history.

The Tây Sơn Dynasty ended the century-long war between the Trịnh and Nguyễn families, ended the Lê Dynasty, and united the country for the first time in 200 years. Under the Tây Sơn Dynasty, the country experienced an age of relative peace and prosperity.

The original version of Công Chúa Ngọc Hân was written for chèo (traditional opera), a form of Vietnamese theatre in the North. The play helped its creator, scriptwriter Vũ, to become a phenomenon in the industry after its release in Hà Nội in 1984.

Vũ was born in 1948 in the northern province of Phú Thọ.

He composed 53 short and long plays, hundreds of poems, short stories, and articles about the theatre. His dramatic plays include Sống Mãi Tuổi 17 (Forever 17), Hồn Trương Ba, Da Hàng Thịt (Trương Ba’s Soul, Butcher’s Body) and Lời Thề Thứ 9 (The Ninth Pledge).

His works are considered timeless. His plays have been adapted for a range of art forms, including chèo, cải lương (reformed opera), water puppetry and drama.

He was awarded the Hồ Chí Minh Prize, one of the most prestigious prizes in art and literature in Việt Nam, for his play Lời Thề Thứ 9 in 2000.

FAMOUS PLAY – A poster for Công Chúa Ngọc Hân (Princess Lê Ngọc Hân), a musical staged by actors of the private theatre Hồng Vân Drama Stage in HCM City. Photo courtesy of the theatre.

“In my musical version, Công Chúa Ngọc Hân will be introduced in both Vietnamese and western styles,” the play’s producer Vân, who has worked in theatre for 30 years, said.

Vân said her actors will include those who perform cải lương, a traditional genre of southern theatre which began in the early 1920s in the Cửu Long (Mekong) River Delta region. “I’m still considering the casting for lead roles,” she said.

Vân also invited Meritorious Artist and cải lương star Kim Tử to work on her production.

“Our new show will target young audiences. We want to encourage audiences to learn more about Vietnamese history and culture through theatre,” said Vân.

Công Chúa Ngọc Hân is scheduled to debut on New Year Eve at Bến Thành Theatre in District 1. — VNS

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