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Temperatures rise in experimental play (November 08, 2006)

Shot in the dark: This image depicts a scene from a new experimental play entitled Nhin (See) that has been performed in HCM City.— Photo courtesy www.samestufftheatre.com.
HCM CITY — University students in HCM City and Ha Noi have been treated to a new experimental play entitled Nhin (See), which tackles contemporary issues in the information age.

Presented by Phan Y Ly of the Ha Noi-based SameStuff Theatre and Nut Nualpang of Thailand’s Saosoong Theatre, the play is a witty story about the world of cyber sex and information technology. It critiques physical images and perceptions, and modern interaction with crisp, contemporary humour.

"The play’s context is very suitable for young people, especially for those who surf the internet regularly. That’s why we decide to perform at universities," says Ly, 25, who is also SameStuff Theatre’s founder.

Young Vietnamese audiences have been receptive to the play, according to Ly, because it is very different from any other performance they have seen.

"Someone said that they were shocked to see such a unique play, while another commented it was too short. Some even lamented that they did not even know about our performance," says Ly.

Nhin has also been performed at Thai universities in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, where it was not as well received. Ly comments that Vietnamese students seem to have had a bigger reaction to the show than their Thai counterparts, because it is a very new art form for them.

Ly and Nut decided to collaborate on Nhin while attending the Mekong Creative Communities Arts for Advocacy Fellowship programme, which was organised by the Philippines Education Theatre Association last year.

The play combines cinematic techniques with stage performances. Ly handled the multimedia side, while her partner Nut directed.

"It can be said the show has an international aspect, considering the main role is a foreigner," says Thanh Bach, a local celebrity who recently attended a Nhin performance in HCM City’s National Economics University.

"The performance follows new and attractive themes, which are very close to young people. Though, I felt something was missing by the surprise ending and the 40-minute show was too short for me."

Ly revealed that once the tour is complete, her Thai partner would like to develop the shoe to include multiple roles. The duo has also been invited to take part in the International Experimental Stage Festival, which is scheduled to open next month in Ha Noi. — VNS

Reprinted with permission from Vietnam News Agency


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