Outstanding plays honoured at Int’l Experimental Theatre Festival hinh anh 1Representatives of Japan, China and Vietnam theatre groups receive the gold medals at the closing ceremony of the third International Experimental Theatre Festival (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Three plays from Vietnam, Japan and China won gold medals at the International Experimental Theatre Festival 2016, which ended on November 20.

The three plays include Under the Sand is Water (by the Military Drama Theatre of Vietnam), The Seagull (by the Theatre Centre Without Walls and Theatre Company a la Place from Japan), and Ramayana (Henan Beijing Opera Troupe from China).

Vietnam’s play Under the Sand is Water was performed at the opening ceremony of the festival one week ago at the Hanoi Opera House.

With the actors wearing theatrical masks during the performance, the play features the life of a family in central province of Quang Binh. It touched audiences by leading them to the deep humanity in the bottom of the character’s hearts. The message of the play is clear: beneath the hot sand is the cool water, behind the feud is love and altruism.

Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic, was adapted in a play by Chinese artists, featuring the Beijing opera, combining singing, speaking, acting, and martial arts—with stunning acrobatics and music.

The Seagull, which is originally a play by Russian 19th century dramatist Anton Chekhov, was staged by Japanese artists at this festival in a different way, combining Eastern and Oriental cultures.

At the closing ceremony, silver medals were also awarded to four plays: Medea and The Dream (Vietnam), Hotel Paradiso (Germany), and Pure Love (the Philippines).

Several Vietnamese and international artists were also honoured during the festival.

Meritorious artist, theatre director Tran Minh Ngoc, who is president of the jury of the festival, said he highly appreciated the quality of the plays.

“Through the plays which were presented in this festival, the artists have proved that they worked hard to find new ways to tell stories… Those new ways can be the combination between the language of silence, and body movements, or the combination between traditional theatre and contemporary theatre, or the combination between Oriental and Western theatre.”

He added that he was impressed by the technology and installation art used in several plays.

Vuong Duy Bien, deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, stressed at the closing ceremony that the festival helped showcase the culture of different countries.

“This is a great opportunity for domestic and international artists to exchange experience and raise their level of expertise,” he said.

“It also encourages Vietnamese artists to create more high-quality art works, contributing to the development of the country’s culture.”

Apart from performances, various discussions on experimental plays took place during the event.

The International Experimental Theatre Festival 2016 took place in Hanoi from November 12-19 with workshops and 16 plays performed by eight troupes from China, the Philippines, Japan, Greece, Germany, Panama, France, and Vietnam.

It was the third experimental theatre festival held in the country. The first and second festivals were held in Vietnam in 2002 and 2006.

The fourth International Experimental Theatre Festival is expected to be held in Hanoi in autumn 2019.

The festival was organised by the Vietnam Stage Artists Association and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Performing Arts Department.-VNA