Cheo plays to grace Hanoi stage every week

From this June, Hanoians can enjoy cheo (traditional Vietnamese opera) plays every Saturday night at Dai Nam theatre.
Cheo plays to grace Hanoi stage every week ảnh 1A photo of a cheo excerpt (Photo:
Hanoi (VNA) - From this June, Hanoians can enjoy cheo (traditional Vietnamese opera) plays every Saturday night at Dai Nam theatre.

The initiative by Hanoi Cheo Theatre is called Ha Noi Dem Thu Bay (Hanoi’s Saturday Night), and aims to attract audiences - both locals and tourists - and interest to this traditional art form.

The weekly programme will feature cheo performances (both ancient and modern cheo) as well as comedy and chau van (ritual songs) performances.

“The leadership board and theatre artists have been preparing for Hanoi’s Saturday Night programmes from early this year. We have been meticulous in choosing the best works for the audience. Artists are rehearsing and are eager to bring cheo in front of audiences,” said Thuy Mui, director of Hanoi Cheo Theatre. “It’s not just cheo, other forms of theatre are also struggling to draw audiences.”

“It is common for audiences to come in large groups, maybe a dozen, to watch cheo. For the first performance on June 3, tickets are sold out for three groups of audience. Our ticket prices are as low as possible to make it affordable for cheo lovers,” Mui said, adding that Hanoi Cheo Theatre is confident that it will draw people as it has nice facilities, is well-located in the centre of the city, and has three performing troupes and a diverse array of performances.

The list of upcoming repertoires for the first three months is ready. Famous works that helped build the reputation of Hanoi’s cheo in the past will be staged, including Quan Am Thi Kinh (Goddess of Mercy), Ngoc Han Cong Chua (Princess Ngoc Han) and Nang Sita (Sita).

Participating artists include big names such as Thuy Mui, Quoc Anh and Duc Thuan.

Every month, there will also be a performance featuring 12 acts of trance to introduce the practice of Mother Goddess worship, which was recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity last year.

Cheo, which originated in the 12th century in the northern delta region, used to be a popular form of theatre in Vietnam, and has its roots in traditional village festivals. The plays typically consist of folk songs with pantomime, instrumental music and dance, combined with instructive or interpretative sketches based on stories from legends, poetry, history, or even daily life.-VNA 

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