Students in Hanoi to Experience Traditional Cheo Performances

Students in the capital will be treated to additional traditional performing arts this school year, as more cheo plays will be taking the stage.


The Hanoi Cheo Theater has recently premiered a captivating play entitled “Magic Sticky Rice” or alternatively known as “The Story of Bom”. This highly anticipated production is directed by the talented Meritorious Artist, Le Tuan.

The play will be showcased in schools throughout the capital city starting in early 2024, as part of the initiative “Introducing traditional operetta plays, adapted from renowned literary works of Vietnam and around the globe, at primary and secondary schools in Hanoi during the years 2022-2030.”

 A scene in the cheo play Thang Bom. Photo courtesy of Hanoi Cheo Theater

The stage art script “Thang Bom” is a creative adaptation of the renowned folk song Thang Bom, which holds a special place in the treasury of Vietnamese folklore. The talented author, Thien An, beautifully captures the essence of rural life in the North, showcasing the various agricultural activities, everyday routines, and beloved folk games that define this region.

The tale of Bom is quite amusing. Despite his humble circumstances, Bom possesses a fan crafted from areca, a simple and inexpensive item. Surprisingly, Phu Ong, a wealthy individual, expresses a desire to obtain it, offering various desirable items in exchange.

The new plot of the cheo play highlights themes of loyal friendship, selflessness, human values, hard work, and altruistic actions.

Playwright Mai Van Sinh expertly adapted this script into a captivating “cheo” play. The theatrical masterpiece not only showcases a deep-rooted folklore identity, but also demonstrates extraordinary artistic expression.

The play seamlessly incorporated puzzles, dialogues, rhymes, and folk games – including blindfolding to catch goats, dragon, and snake in the clouds – skillfully woven together by the director for an engaging and lifelike experience. Furthermore, the interaction between the talented actors and the audience added an extra level of appeal to the overall production.

The Cheo Theater in Hanoi boasts a line-up of exceptional artists who take on the main roles in the play. Explore more about the Cheo Theater here.

According to the Hanoi Cheo Theater, this play holds significant importance in their lineup for 2023. It aims to bridge the gap between cheo and the younger generation, particularly students from primary to junior high schools. The play’s goal is to enhance students’ understanding of cheo and traditional arts, as they represent the future audience for these valuable forms of performance art.