A “tuong” play entitled “The legend of Redhill”, featuring artists from Vietnam and Singapore, is staged in early August to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties. (Photo: sovhtt.hanoi.gov.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Tuong (classical drama) Theatre has staged a “tuong” play entitled “The legend of Redhill”, featuring Tuong artists of Vietnam and drama and dancing artists from Singapore.

The play was written by Singaporean director Chua Soo Pong and adapted by Vietnamese Tuong artist Nguyen Si Chuc. It was part of activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam – Singapore diplomatic ties which were established in 1973. It was directed by Meritorious Artist Dang Ba Tai from Vietnam.

The drama was based on the Legend of Bukit Merah (Redhill), one of the most popular folk tales in Singapore. Once upon the time, there were many swordfish in the sea near Singapura (or present-day Singapore). When sailors went out to the sea, swordfish sprang out of the sea and killed them. People were very afraid of the swordfish.

King of Singapura, Maharajah, tried several methods to solve the problem but to no avail. A clever boy named Nadim saw what was happening and suggested the king to make a trap for the swordfish along the beach with soft banana tree trunks.

The plan worked perfectly. When the swordfish attacked, their snouts were stuck into the trunks, so it was easy for the soldiers to kill them.

Nadim was then generously rewarded and taken to the court to serve the King.

The prime minister got very jealous of the little boy and an evil plan began to brew his mind. He and his soldiers went into Nadim’s house and killed him with their arrows. But the prime minister was later stricken by lightning and died.

The ending reflects the law of Karma in Buddhism.

The Tuong play was performed in Hanoi in early August. –VNA