Wednesday, 06/09/2023 16:59

Children’s theatre programme closed after 23 years

ENTERTAINING THE YOUTH - The IDECAF (Institute of Cultural Exchange with France), one of HCM City’s leading private theatres, offers drama and musical shows for children and teenagers. Photo courtesy of the theatre

HCM CITY — The long-running theatre programme for children Ngày Xửa Ngày Xưa (Once Upon a Time) was closed in HCM City this week. 

The programme was started by talented artists from IDECAF (Institute of Cultural Exchange with France), one of the region’s leading private drama troupes, in 2000. 

It was produced by Meritorious Artist and theatre actor-director Thành Lộc and his partners. 

It provided young audiences with new concepts and techniques in Vietnamese drama. Lộc and his artists worked hard to foster a love of theatre among children and teenagers. 

The programme’s last show, called Nàng Công Chúa Và Chiếc Áo Tầm Gai (The Princess and the Thorn Coat), was staged at the Bến Thành Theatre last Sunday. More than 200 audience members were in attendance. 

The musical was closed after 63 performances in front of nearly 20,000 spectators. 

It is based on The Wild Swans, a literary fairy tale by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. 

The Vietnamese version features a princess who rescues her family from an evil witch. Love, friendship, bravery and honesty are also highlighted.  

Last year, the programme offered Cuộc Phiêu Lưu Của Thuyền Trưởng Sinbad - Đại Chiến Nàng Tiên Cá (The Adventures of Sinbad - The Battle of Mermaids), a musical by director Đình Toàn. 

It is a re-telling of the adventures of Sinbad from The Arabian Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales. 

It was staged for 60 shows attracting 18,000 fans. 

“Through our programme, we wanted to provide children with new concepts and techniques in drama. We also hoped to foster love of the theatre among the youth,” said the programme’s founder Lộc.

CLOSING TIME - The long-running theatre programme for children called Ngày Xửa Ngày Xưa (Once Upon a Time) closed in HCM City after 23 years. The programme attracted talented artists from IDECAF (Institute of Cultural Exchange with France), one of the region’s leading private drama troupes. Photo courtesy of the theatre

Ngày Xửa Ngày Xưa produced 33 plays with more than 900 performances and shows for more than 30,000 children and teenagers, including disadvantaged children who live in open houses and shelters around the city.  

It attracted talented artists, including Meritorious Artist Mỹ Duyên and Hữu Châu, and cải lương (reformed opera) star Bạch Long. 

The programme’s producers spent a lot to make many beautiful outfits, accessories and stage designs for the plays.

IDECAF Drama features 30 professional artists, along with backstage workers. 

The theatre offers many experimental shows in drama, musical, cải lương (reformed opera) and hát bội (central drama), two genres of traditional theatre in the south and central regions.  

It also offers performances targeting children.

“We have worked hard to stage quality drama plays and musicals to entertain young audiences,” said producer Huỳnh Anh Tuấn, owner of the IDECAF who has 25 years in the industry. — VNS

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