Nested on Duong Thanh Street, which once named Rue de la Citadelle by the French, Vietnam Tuong Theatre has welcomed visitors and served as a melting pot where Vietnamese performing arts and culture meet world audience. Taking a short few minutes’ walk from Sword Lake, entering the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, one will find the Vietnam Tuong Theatre opposite the centuries-old Hang Da Market (Rue des Cuirs), where merchants has been gathering ever since feudal time. The theatre building has been around for over a hundred years, a true witness of Hanoi’s historical changes.
The Vietnam Tuong Theatre was originally built by the French as a cinematheque at the beginning of the 20th century, by the name “Olympia”. The cinematheque used to screen Western movies and mainly served the French colony’s entertainment needs. In 1945, when the revolution army took over Northern Vietnam as the French withdrew, the building was renamed “Hong Ha Theatre”, and had since then been appointed by the new Vietnamese government as a destination for troupes of local performing art genres such as Tuong, Cheo, Cai Luong, etc. to stage their works, bringing entertainment to Vietnamese residents, and preserving Vietnam’s cultural heritage. Of all these genres, “Tuong” stayed over the years and grew to become an essential attribute of this historic theatre. The place is therefore known as Vietnam Tuong Theatre.
The old “Olympia”, now Vietnam Tuong Theatre, is nowadays a major stage where Vietnamese culture and performing arts collide. Not only Tuong, Cheo, Hat Xam, etc. , the presence of Lang Toi – My Village’s contemporary artistic performance on Vietnam Tuong Theatre’s stage is a breath of fresh air, bringing forth cultural exchange and progressive expansion of Vietnamese contemporary performing arts.
With cozy neo-classic design, enriched with cultural and historical heritage over the years, Vietnam Tuong Theatre presents a unique ambiance, treating cultural enthusiasts to exotic and mesmerizing artistic experience that mark their unforgettable memories in Hanoi.
Behind The Mask Exhibition is taking place at Vietnam Tuong Theatre. A part of the series of activities celebrating Vietnam Tuong Theatre's 60th anniversary, this is the first permanent exhibition about the art of Tuong in Vietnam, which aims to raise local awareness and introduces foreign tourists to this unique performance art.