In a series of cultural events to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and France, a play that was lauded at the Avignon Festival in France will be performed in Ho Chi Minh City from September 21-22. 

The play “SaiGon” by Caroline Guiela Nguyen  is a polyphonic symphony, telling a story that spanned 40 years of French and Vietnamese people whose destinies were tossed about by history. At Marie-Antoinette’s restaurant, located both in Saigon and Paris, yesterday and today, people come to dine, drink and sing, dance, love and cry.

A Chevalier (Knight) of Order of Arts and Letters, nominated for Molière Awards in 2015 and 2018, the French author and theatre director Caroline Guiela Nguyen was born to a Vietnamese mother.

To write the play, she went to Ho Chi Minh City in 2015 and 2016 as part of the Villa Saigon residency programme by Institutfrançais du Vietnam to immerse herself in the city and to recruit four young Vietnamese comedians at the workshops organised at the theatre school.

French and Vietnamese actors play 11 characters of “SaiGon”. On stage, their voices and fates intertwine with emotions that strike between the two pivotal years of 1956 and 1996.

After its wild success at the 71st Avignon Festival, the “SaiGon” performances are all sold-out, one after another, in renowned theatres around the world. /.