This is the first English edition of memory of four generations of Cải lương actors and actresses, writers, directors, teachers, filmmakers, managers and representative of audiences, Beautiful and Real: An oral history of Cải lương captures the memories and reminiscences of Cải Lương art offered to two British Council oral history researchers, Hugo Frey and Suzanne Joinson, during 10 days’ fieldwork in Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai province in April 2019. 

The research was carried out with the advisory support from renowned Cải lương artists and researchers Nguyễn Thị Minh Ngọc and Nguyễn Hồng Dung - seeing them cross paths with more than 30 practitioners of Cải lương from multiple backgrounds and locations across Southern Vietnam. The publication was released in November 2019. The book was published in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House. The largest exhibition of this book attracted 30,000 Cải lương lovers over two weeks while the display at the HCMC book street and 4,000 copies were made available in both Vietnamese and English. 

Read the full book here.