In 1944, Đặng Thai Mai translated Thunderstorm for Thanh Nghị magazine. The translation was then compiled and published by Đại Chúng printing house. Shortly after that, he continued with another Cao Yu’s work: Sunrise.
Maybe there was a Vietnamese translation of Peking man by Nguyễn Kim Thản, with Đặng Thai Mai as the one who wrote the preface.
The most notable performance of Cao Yu’s play in Vietnam would be Thunderstorm staged in 5B theater in 1986. The director was Hoa Hạ, and the cast were Minh Trang, Thành Lộc, Việt Anh, Hữu Châu, Hồng Vân and so on. This show attracted a great number of audience and was asked to be re-played many times.
On this success, the critic Trương Chính, who is also an authority in Chinese literature, once remarked:
“This performance excited our nation’s hitherto bleak and desolate drama scene. Its credit, however, should be given to Đặng Thai Mai.”
Thunderstorm was also adapted into the form of cải lương and TV show. However, these renditions were indeed very lowbrow.
(to be continued)