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Stage stalwart creates show for children on YouTube

Theatre actor Bach Long has a new drama show for children on YouTube called Thằng Bờm Kể Chuyện Xưa (Bờm Tells Folk Tales).

Con Bạch Mã và Củ Cải Khổng Lồ (A White Horse and A Giant Radish), the first play in a YouTube show for children called Thằng Bờm Kể Chuyện Xưa (Bờm tells folktales) performed by veteran actor Bạch Long and his one-time students. Still photo taken from the video

“The show aims to entertain young audiences whose parents cannot afford a live show,” he said.

“The show is where my [former] students can improve and show off their skills.”

It features plays based on folk tales written by Long, who also plays Bờm - the narrator, while his students Chan Cuong, Bach Van Thanh, Bach Lien, Bach Tu Mi play the main roles.

The first play of the show, called Con Bạch Mã và Củ Cải Khổng Lồ (A White Horse and a Giant Radish), was released last week.

The plays are in the tuong (classical drama) format, which developed from a folk art into a royal art in the 17th century.

It consists of singing and dancing accompanied by music, and themes normally include monarchist loyalty and patriotic duty.

“Through our performance, we want to preserve and develop the art of tuong among young people, particularly children, and nurture patriotism in their souls,” the 60-year-old said.

He and his students know they would face a lot of challenges along the way, but they have the belief, he said.

“We have done everything from costumes to filming to producing by ourselves to save money.”

They learnt every day how to make the videos better and more attractive, he said.   

Long began his affair with tuong and cai luong (reformed opera) when he was 12. He was trained by his father, People's Artist Thanh Ton, and other talented actors like Minh To and Thanh Tong.

He has won two gold medals for Best Actor at the National Cai Luong Festival in 1982 and 1987.

In 1990 he set up the Dong Au - Bach Long Troupe to offer children training in tuong and cai luong for.

It staged many cai luong plays for children such as Cầu Vồng và Đàn Thỏ (The Rainbow and a Herd of Rabbits) and Cóc Kiện Trời (A Toad Complains to God).

But he closed it in 2000, unable to sustain it financially in the new entertainment market.

Thằng Bờm Kể Chuyện Xưa is available on YouTube channel Dong Au Bach Long. VNS

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