The play, Shadow of the Puppets, was written by author and art critic Vu Hoang Hoa who currently resides in Sydney. It has been officially nominated for the 2023 Patrick White Award for scripts, an annual event organized by Sydney Theatre.

Shadow of the Puppets is a profound exploration of family pain, same-sex love, and the struggle to embrace one’s true self. Within each individual, there are hidden corners and deep secrets that remain concealed. The tragic story of an unhappy family sheds light on universal human issues.

The performance incorporates puppets and puppetry, including the captivating art of shadow puppetry. Puppets and humans merge on stage, embodying the characters’ essence and identity, portraying both their light and dark sides, and conveying the release of both pain and joy.

The performance is filled with innovative expressions, from its content to its staging, deviating from traditional theatrical conventions. Throughout the nearly 120-minute show, viewers are taken on a journey through life’s stages, traversing the past and illuminating the present through stunning visual displays and physical dances that are at times poetic and profound, and at other times turbulent and explosive.

The play’s director, Ta Tuan Minh, was honored with the Director Award at the 2020 Theatre Festival. The production team includes choreographer Nguyen Duy Thanh, puppet director Le Chi Kien, and puppet designer Nguyen Xuan Long.