3rd Comedy Festival looks for a new generation of talent

The third comedy festival in more than a decade has been launched in HCM City with hopes that it will unearth new talent in both comedians and scriptwriters.

Observers say that the comedy scene in   HCM   City   has stagnated somewhat in the last few years because of repetition and the paucity of new creative scripts.   


The Nu Cuoi Xanh (Green Smile) 2010 festival, organised by the HCM City Youth Cultural House and Phuoc Sang Entertainment, will focus on urban civilisation, environmental protection and traffic safety.   


The festival, which is organised as a contest, is open to both professional and amateur comedy troupes can in two categories – 60-minute feature plays and 15-minute group and duo skits.   


Registration for the festival will end on September 15 and the final rounds will begin in December.   


Organisers said this is only the third festival held in the city after a gap of more than a decade because they lacked the resources earlier. The first festival was held in 1989.   


The city has more than 60 comedy troupes who perform in local theatres and bars, with the most famous one found at   125 Hai Ba Trung street  , a theatre that has adopted its address as its name. Performances at this venue usually feature popular artists like Minh Nhi and Huu Nghia.   


The Nu Cuoi Moi (New Smile) Theatre with overseas Vietnamese comedians like Hoai Linh and Chi Tai is also among the more popular comedy troupes in the city.   


Linh last year won two Mai Vang (Golden Apricot) awards as Favourite Comedian and Best Stage Actor for his roles as a female fortune-teller in the comedy Cau Lac Bo Quy Ba (Ladies' Club) and as Tu, main character in the play Da Co Hoai Lang (Nostalgia).   


In Cau Lac Bo Quy Ba, his performance reduced audiences to laughter and tears at the same time, local reports said.   


However, audiences have been unimpressed by the repetition they've seen as the troupes perform the same play several times at different theatres and bars across the country.   


A representative of the   125 Hai Ba Trung Street   Theatre said the quality of comedy plays in the city has gone down because of poor quality scripts./.