Theatres around Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are staging new plays aimed at entertaining young audiences during the summer holidays and on International Children's Day on June 1.

Young audiences can look forward to several plays along with shows packed with magic tricks, circus performances and puppetry.

The Thang Long Puppetry Theatre will present the first-ever performance of a new water puppetry show titled Khuc Hat Ao Lang (Village Pond Song), which features various popular children's stories.

The appearance of traditional performance styles including cheo (popular drama) and tuong (classical drama) in the shows promises to make children's theatre more appealing.

The Vietnam Cheo Theatre will stage the first production of three plays in a one-month run from May 24 to June 30. The three plays are based on well-known Vietnamese fairy tales Cay Khe (The Starfruit Tree), Cay Tre Tram Dot (The Hundred-Knot Bamboo) and Thach Sanh.

The theatre is also cooperating with the Vietnam Circus Federation to stage the Oriental Magic Gala featuring traditional music, cheo and 10 magic performances.

In addition, a number of private comedy groups in the capital are also staging their own shows to entertain children.

As is the case in Hanoi, several theatres in HCM City have been busy preparing new plays for children.

The IDECAF (Institute for Culture Exchange with France ) mini-theatre will present the 25th production of Ngay Xua Ngay Xua (Once Upon A Time), one of the most popular programmes for children in the city, at the end of this month.

This programme is scheduled to premiere the play Hoang Tu Xau Xi va Co Gai Toc Vang (Ugly Prince and the Blonde Girl) on May 24. Well-known actors including Thanh Loc, Dai Nghia and Le Khanh will star in the Indian fairy tale about a beautiful blond girl who is imprisoned by a demon, which will be performed until July 7 at the Ben Thanh Theatre at 7 Mac Dinh Chi Street in District 1.

Hoang Thai Thanh Drama Theatre will present Ngan Le Hai Dem (One Thousand and Two Nights), a play inspired by the fairy tale Aladdin and the Magic Lamp.

Ngan Le Hai Dem will be staged beginning on May 31 at the Hoang Thai Thanh Drama Theatre at 36 Le Quy Don Street in District 3.

While theatres in big cities are busy this summer, they cannot send their actors to the countryside for performances due to a lack of funds.

Nguyen Thuy Mui, director of the Viet Nam Cheo Theatre said the theatre could not finance performances in rural areas without more financial support from local authorities. This year, the theatre could only sign a contract with Thanh Tri district in Hanoi, where they will stage an old comedy on May 29.

The puppetry theatres also face financial difficulties that prevent them from performing in rural areas.-VNA