Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre Show and Schedule in Hanoi
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre:
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is now one of the most popular tourist spots in Hanoi with entrance tickets selling out well in advance. So it’s really worth booking yours as soon as you arrive in city. It is also advisable to pay more to get closer to the stage as the theatre seats a few hundred people and the water puppets are not that big.
Thang Long Theatre is modern and usually shows 17 short sketches within a one-hour for each performance. Aside from the general admission fee (Entry Ticket) of VND 100,000, there's an additional camera or video fee ticket if you wish to photograph or film this show.
• Opening Hours: Daily at 15:00, 16:10, 17:20, 18:30 & 20:00
• Address: No 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
• Telephone: +84 43 824 9494
• Price Range: VND 100,000
The History of Water Puppet Performance in Vietnam:
The World-Famous Water Puppet Performance in Hanoi came from an art form dated back to the 11th century. The traditional water puppet theatre stems from a time when the rice paddy were all flooded and local villagers would make entertainment for themself by standing in the waist-deep water with the puppets performing over the water.
Using large banboo rods and strings to support the puppets it appeared as if they were moving across the water with the puppeteers hidden behind the screen.
This tradition water puppet is unique to North Vietnam but has recently found fame on stages all over the world; so it’s a rare treat to see the water puppets perform in their original location at the Water Puppet Theatre Thang Long. Performances of Puppetry are accompanied by a Vietnamese orchestra playing traditional music with drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals.
There are also many authentic Vietnamese operatic songs telling the story that is being acted out by the puppets. Most of the puppet shows recount Vietnamese folk tales and legends with topics including the celebration of the Vietnamese rice harvest depicted in a humorous fashion.
The Highlights Water Puppet Theatre:
Puppet shows at this modern theatre are performed in a indoor pool of water as the stage for the puppets. The water puppets are controlled by no more than eight puppeteers satying behind a bamboo screen. The well-known Thang Long Water Puppet Show is considered as one of the best cultural highlights of Northern Vietnam dating back to a tradition that first started in the Vietnam’s Red River Delta.
Performances today usually include a number of short sketches rather than one long story, taking the show audience on a journey of ancient village life, rice harvests and dances of mythical creatures. Most of the shows also feature the famous Legend of the Restored Sword of King Le Loi which tells the story of Hoan Kiem Lake and the giant tortoise. The live traditional music plays an integral part of the show with singers often shouting words of encouragement to the water puppets.
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