New play adapted from Balzac novel by veteran director opens tomorrow

VietNamNet Bridge – A play about money and love adapted from Honoré de Balzac’s novel Eugénie Grandet by director Viet Linh will be staged in HCM City on Friday.

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A scene from the Vietnamese version of film Eugénie Grandet, written by Viet Linh, staged by Hong Hac Drama Troupe in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of the producer 


The play is about a wealthy but miserly Felix Grandet whose deeds lead to tragedy for his daughter Eugénie and himself.

Linh wrote the screenplay and invited young director Tay Phong of Hong Hac Drama Troupe, one of the city’s private troupes, to take part in the project. 

“I believe our production will make audiences laugh and cry. The play’s message is the hypocrisy and shallowness of wealthy people and how money controls their live,” Phong said in an interview with Thanh Nien newspaper.  

“Balzac released Eugénie Grandet in 1839 but his work is still relevant. I’m interested in Linh’s script because it has modern content,” he added.

The Vietnamese version of Eugénie Grandet features young artists Le Chi Na, Thanh Tuan, Luong My and Hong Dao.     

Born in 1952 into a traditional family, Linh acquired her love for films from her father and scriptwriter Viet Tan who played a role in developing revolutionary cinema.

She studied film in Russia in 1980. Five years later, she became the south’s first female director, working for Giai Phong Film Studio, the south’s leading State-owned film company.

Linh has since directed dozens of movies, including the award-winning Ganh Xiec Rong (Mobile Circus Troupe, 1988) and Dau An Cua Quy (The Sign of the Devil, 1992). 

Her films Me Thao Thoi Vang Bong (Once Upon a Time in Me Thao Village, 2002) and Chung Cu (The Tenement House, 1999) won several prizes at local and international film festivals, including the Viet Nam Golden Kite Film Festival, 2004 Promotion Internationale des Films du Sud in France, and 2003 Bergamo Film Festival in Italy. 

Most of her works are about love and the lives of people, with the use of light and sound effects highlighting their visual features.

Linh has also written books and documents about the cinema.

In 2005, she and her partner Pham Hoang Nam, a theatre producer, opened Hong Hac Drama Troupe to offer experimental shows.

“We want to provide audiences, particularly young people, with new concepts and techniques in drama,” said the 67-year-old Linh, who lives in France and Vietnam.   

Theatre experts, including theatre actress and director Hong Anh and music producer Nguyen Cong Phuong Nam, have helped her troupe become more professional.  

The Vietnamese stage version of Eugénie Grandet will be staged every weekend at 155Bis Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street in District 3. The final date of the performance has not been announced.

Source: VNS

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