When journalist Trang Ha translated Chinese novel "Sorry, you are just a whore" three years ago, it became a literary phenomenon in Vietnam, drawing over 25 million hits after she posted it on her blog.
Stage director Hoang Vu is hoping his adaptation of the novel into a play will achieve similar popularity and success. Vu's project makes it the first time that a Vietnamese company has paid royalty to a foreign author to turn her work into a play.
Vu, general director of the V.Art Company, said he paid young Chinese novelist Cao Ding US$5,000 in royalties to adapt her novel for the stage.
V. Art is also investing a record VND3 billion (US$166,666) to produce the play. This is said to be the highest outlay ever for a play in Vietnam.
Ha, who wrote the script for the play within three months, said she has adjusted some of the details from the original work. The name of the play has been changed to "Sorry, you are just..."
The novel tells the story of Xia Ou, a beautiful 17-year-old girl driven into prostitution. She meets and falls in love with a man and becomes his kept woman. After years of living together, their relationship changes and unveils several bygone secrets.
Vu said that Ngo Quang Ha will be the director of the play, which will use special stage and screen effects like a 25-meter waterfall and pigeons flying from a church bell tower.
Famous composer Tuong Van will be in charge of the drama's soundtrack and Deputy Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Le Tien Tho is the art advisor.
The play will be performed on March 12 at the Hoa Binh Theater, on HCMC's 3/2 Street.
Reported by Kim