English variety show recreates 1940s Ha Noi

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VietNam News English - 99 month(s) ago 8 readings

HCM CITY Vietnamese Charm, a variety show in English that portrays the cultures of different parts of the country through music, dance, and a fashion show, kept a Vietnamese and foreign audience enthralled in HCM City on New Year s Eve.

The programme at the Super Bowl entertainment complex was about Ha Noi in the middle of the last century.

The most impressive part of the show was the play Nguoi Ngua, Ngua Nguoi (Horse or Man, Man or Horse) adapted from a short story by Nguyen Cong Hoan, which describes the historic hunger in the North in 1945.

The acting by the two main actors, Lan Phuong and Tran Thanh, made it a moving drama, with their perfect English helping to convey its spirit fully.

"I am a horse, you re a whore. The same misery...," says an actor who played a rickshaw-puller.

Doan Khoa, co-director of the event, said: "Vietnamese Charm will feature the cultures of various areas in Viet Nam. Today we will show Ha Noi; the next will be about Sai Gon and so on.

"We target tourists, so the performance lasts just an hour."

The shows are performed whenever there is demand from travel operators serving foreign tourists visiting the city.

Super Bowl Theatre is owned by popular actress Hong Van, who also owns two other theatres in the city.

"I m going to teach English to all the artists in the theatre," DJ Wright Asia, an Australian spectator, said.

Le Duy Hanh, a playwright and president of the Stage Association of HCM City, said the show is a test of the market.

"Vietnamese plays in English are still at an experimental stage. [But] better late than never. Acting in English plays is engendering competition between actors and actress," he said.

Hanh wrote Viet Nam s first ever English play in 2001, Noi Dau Cua Nhan Loai (The Pain of Mankind), by combining Shakespeare s Othello and Nguyen Du s Thuy Kieu (The Tale of Kieu). VNS

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