04:17 (GMT +7) - Sunday 16/06/2019


Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre introduces automatic ticketing

Released at: 18:04, 24/05/2018

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre introduces automatic ticketing

Photo: Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Ticketing machines allow choice of performance time and seating.

by Le Diem

The Thang Long Water Puppet Theater has installed two automatic ticketing machines next to the ticket counter, where visitors can select a date and time and also their seats, with payment made by Visa or debit card. A staff of technicians are also on hand to assist when needed.

Many visitors used the machines rather than the ticket counter on the first day the new system was in operation.

Foreign visitors are more familiar with automated ticketing so the theater decided to introduce it, according to Deputy Director Mr. Chu Van Luong. It remains new to Vietnamese visitors, however, so the ticket counter remains open.

Water puppetry originated in the Red River Delta in Vietnam’s north, where many towns and villages have communal ponds, which were used as the stage when the artform appeared around the 10th century. The villages of Thach That and Dao Thuc in Hanoi and Rach and Nguyen Xa in the nearby provinces of Nam Dinh and Thai Binh are some of the earliest known centers of water puppetry.

Its water stage is the special feature of the artform, differentiating it from every other type of puppetry. The surface of the water is the performance area, while a regular stage, built from bamboo, resembles a traditional village communal house, where villagers gather for important events.

The water surface also serves to hide the puppeteers’ control of strings and poles behind the stage.

Traditionally, water puppetry performances portray the daily life of Vietnamese farmers (cultivating, tending buffalo, and catching fish), communal entertainment (swimming races and dragon dancing), or historical legends (like Le Loi returning the precious sword to the Golden Turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake), with the modest presentation appealing to audiences for centuries. In addition to maintaining these traditional portrayals, artists at the theater have updated the show with lighting and music and a combination of puppets and people.

Established in 1969, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is located at 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street in Hoan Kiem district, opposite Hoan Kiem Lake in the center of Hanoi and close to other popular sites such as the Old Quarter, Ngoc Son Temple, Ly Thai To Park, the Hanoi Opera House, Hoa Lo Prison, the Museum of Vietnamese History, and the Vietnamese Women’s Museum.

It is the only theater in the country that performs 365 days a year. The troupe has taken the art to nearly 50 countries and territories, introducing Vietnam’s unique water puppetry to the world.

With a capacity of 300, five shows are held every day, at 3pm, 4.10pm, 5.20pm, 6.30pm, and 8pm. Tickets are VND100,000 ($4.4) for an adult and VND60,000 ($2.6) for children under 1.2 meters tall.

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