Talented actors of Phương Nam Theatre, one of HCM City’s leading private theatres, will offer water puppet performances at a new stage called Rối Nước Rồng Phương Nam (The South Dragon Water Puppet) at the HCM City Museum of History. (Photo courtesy of the producer)
The shows, which feature characters from Vietnamese fairy tales, highlight themes of love, friendship, bravery, self-respect and honesty, and contain messages about patriotism and national heroes.
Talks about Vietnamese puppetry and its history and development during various periods will also be included.
“We spent a lot on building a stage with 150 seats to honour water puppetry and its artists-- who have used their art to keep traditional Vietnamese theatre alive,” said Hoàng Duẩn, a theatre director and producer at Phương Nam Theatre.
“We hope the museum’s visitors, particularly young people, will learn about the country’s history, culture and lifestyle through our performances.”
According to Duẩn, who is also a puppeteer, Phương Nam actors have been working several hours a day to show off their skills in puppetry, music and dance.
“To attract audiences during the Christmas and New Year, shows featuring famous characters familiar with children in animated films such as Elsa, Anna, Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, and Cinderella, will be offered.”
"We will provide audiences a stage of light and sound effects,” he said.
In Việt Nam, water puppetry has been performed on a stage with a pool of water for a thousand years. Colourful puppets are made of wood and controlled from the chamber next to the stage by strings and underwater nests.
The HCM City Museum of History was built by the French colonialists in 1929. It is located on 3,000 square metres and displays more than 40,000 artefacts. It organises cultural activities and art shows to introduce Vietnamese history and culture.
In July, the museum launched a new art programme offering tuồng or hát bội (classical drama) to serve its visitors.
The programme offers excerpts from famous historical plays, such as Trần Bình Trọng Tuẫn Tiết (National Hero Trần Bình Trọng and San Hậu (The Reign), staged by young artists of the HCM City Hát Bội Theatre, one of the region’s leading traditional theatres.
Water puppet shows of Rối Nước Rồng Phương Nam will be staged at 10am and 3pm from Tuesday to Sunday at the museum, 2 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm Street in District 1.
Tickets are available at the theatre’s box office.