What’s your story, Vietnam?

The Quintessence of Tonkin
The Quintessence of Tonkin

Hanoi’s latest attraction is a stage performance that harnesses the beauty of nature and ropes in both professional and amateur actors to tell a series of tales about countryside life in Vietnam, from the rise of Vietnamese Buddhism to the complexities of the feudal education system.

Named The Quintessence of Tonkin, the performance is played on the outskirts of Hanoi on a stage that sits just below the surface of a lake and with the mountains and Chua Thay, one of the country’s oldest Buddhist pagodas, as backdrop. The cast pulls in 100 professional performers and 150 real farmers.

Performance-art technicians devised a world-class sound and lighting system for the cutting-edge production, but traditional instruments — such as wooden drums and brass gongs — figure prominently in the sensory experience, as well.
Hoang Nhat Nam, the show’s director, draws attention to the farmers who took a year to master the art of acting.

“These farmers know rural life better than anyone,” said Nam. “It is their story, so I wanted them to be the ones to tell it. It’s more authentic that way.”

Perfect for corporate groups, the 2,500-seat amphitheater welcomes partial bookings of the Silver, Gold and Platinum sections or full venue hire. Planners choose the latter can also arrange for delegates to meet with the producer and cast.

Special group rates are available.

For an extra special touch, elevate the experience with a dinner party set up on stage, on a stretch of private beach within Baara Land Resort, an easy five-minute walk from the show venue, or at a restaurant. Choose to feast on Vietnamese and international dishes on a buffet line or from a set menu. Dinner is priced from US$25 per person, excluding drinks.

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