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     English Wordplay ~ Listen and Enjoy

The Healing Arts directed by Shaun MacLoughlin

Reviews by the United Nations Peace Meditation Group

The UN Peace Meditation Group, founded by Sri Chinmoy attended a performance of The Healing Arts directed by Shaun Macloughlin and at a subsequent news conference made the following comments:

Salil Wilson, Sydney, Australia

Salil Wilson, Sydney, Australia: "The stories that interweave in your play demonstrate poignantly the frailties of human nature.  No matter what nationality we are, your play will resonate around the world.  On a personal level when I saw Kieu struggling and finally succumbing to temptation, I identified with something that happened in my own life.  I should like to thank you for this."

Sipra Lloyd, Adelaide, Australia

Sipra Lloyd, Adelaide, Australia: "I was struck by how the cast were able to portray such passionate emotions in English.  There is a real ring of truth about the play.  It is so well written that the audience immediately identify with the theme, that in spite of our differences, we can unite our cultures."

Ketan Tamn, New York, USA

Ketan Tamn, New York, USA: "I much appreciate how the author and the director are able to meld the traditional Vietnamese and Western stories. The staging is truly imaginative.  The audience were enthralled by what might happen next; for example by the use of silk bands to convey the river, by the beauty of the dancing and by the miming of the shooting of the arrow.  I love your culture and particularly when I saw your evil Iago character, I longed for more Vietnamese culture and language."

Olga Keenan, Russia

Olga Keenan, Russia: "I am Russian and English is my second language; so I was really impressed by how the actors mastered the English.  Also as an architect by training, I found it wonderful how the dynamic movement and arrangement of the props and the decoration were combined to tell the story."

Darsha. Kelly, Glasgow, Scotland

Darsha. Kelly, Glasgow, Scotland: "I would like to suggest that you organize workshops across the world with the Vietnamese actors and dancers.  Also you could involve expatriate Vietnamese communities and so give their culture back to them."

Keith Shaw, Melbourne, Australia

Keith Shaw, Melbourne, Australia: "I appreciate the play as a work of Art.  Overseas I suggest theaudience would gain enormously from the addition of live performers playing the traditional Vietnamese music. I was absorbed by the magnificent dramatic acting."

Khokan Fulop, Budapest, Hungary

Khokan Fulop, Budapest, Hungary: "Taking a famous play like Shakespeare's Othello and showing how it overlaps with a Vietnamese work of literature will really interest an international audience.  I think the Vietnamese chorus is very effective. They reminded me of the traditional Greek chorus, in the way that they danced and moved. Audiences will also identify with the way you use masks. I love Shakespeare.  In his tragedies he was fascinated by fate. It is very interesting to see how the Vietnamese writer is also fascinated by fate."

Jason Devashishu, London, England

Jason Devashishu, London, England: "It was really nice to hear Shakespeare so far away from home.  It is a beautiful play and when you enact together the stories from different countries, the effect is magical.  I thought the main actors, the two couples, portrayed tremendous emotion; more by their actions and expressions than by their words. I could not always hear Kieu clearly, but her expression was amazing, especially her sorrow and remorse.  The Vietnamese King spoke perfectly. I could understand every word. He brought Vietnam into the English language.  Thank you for a fantastic experience."

Lady member from USA

Lady member from USA: "In the opening bars of music and in the initial staging there was so much universality that words became secondary."

Mahijan Savage, California, USA

Mahijan Savage, California, USA:S "We of Peace Meditation believe we are not bound by the past. Your play is powerful in bringing that idea forward. You in Vietnam are making an important and beautiful offering to the rest of the world."

Jogota, Auckland, New Zealand

Jogota, Auckland, New Zealand: "I studied Othello, as a reluctant student, but the magic and beauty of your performance really helped me to appreciate the play.  More importantly I think Shakespeare would be very pleased to see this play used as a vehicle to bring us all together.  I hope we see you in New Zealand."

Husiar Johnsen, Oslo, Norway

Husiar Johnsen, Oslo, Norway: "I come from a very cold country, but in Vietnam my heart is warm.  The beauty, the purity and the innocence in your actors' eyes told me much of the beauty of the Vietnamese people"

Sanjay Rawal, India

Sanjay Rawal, India: "We have been on an international tour from Hawaii, Malaysia and Cambodia, but this play has been a highlight for us. The play's underlying theme of wonder and friendship will be an inspiration to all.

Mrs. Nandita Polissar, Seattle, USA

Mrs. Nandita Polissar, Seattle, USA: "As the world becomes smaller, Art is a powerful way to bring people together.  This effort by the writer and director should be encouraged and supported and validated. It is love that unites us and which crosses cultural barriers. Through drama, dance and music, Art can celebrate both our differences and our similarities. I am grateful for what you are doing to make the world a better place."

Dr. Pradhan Balter, Chicago, USA

Dr. Pradhan Balter, Chicago, USA: "I could feel what the actors were saying even when I could not hear them; because feeling is conveyed through the heart, not through the head.   I absolutely loved the play.  It would be greatly welcomed in every major city in the USA.  This has been the highlight of my Vietnam visit."

Dr. Agraha Levine, USA

Dr. Agraha Levine, USA: "Not many cultures have playwrights and actors who can convey pathos and depth of feeling with such power and clarity.  We have all experienced dark forces in our lives, but for me the most wonderful moment was at the end of the play, when there was light.  I discovered that in spite of the sadness in the world, you too are on a spiritual quest. You are helping to make the world a happier and more wonderful place. This production was the highlight of our world tour."

Mr. Tao, President HCM City International Friendship committee

Mr. Tao, President Ho Chi Minh City International Friendship committee: "We hope our friends can help to promote this play to strengthen peace around the world"

Mr. Huynh The Cuoc President HCMC University of Foreign Languages - Information Technology: "With my passion for the Arts I often visit the Small Stage Theatre and rejoice at its rapid growth.  My friend the French Ambassador to Burkina Faso greatly enjoyed Viet Anh's perfornance in "Public Opinion", while a French professor and theatre director much appreciated Hong Anh in "Spring Life".  Personally I am most impressed by "The Healing Arts", a global cultural journey intertwining modern and traditional theatre.  The author, the actors and the director are to be congratulated on its success, which will be particularly valuable for Vietnamese students majoring in English."

Dr. Diane Oliver, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University: "The play is wonderfully creative.  Perhaps you could provide the audience with a page summarising the stories of Othello and the Story of Kieu.  The actors master English very well.  The music and the acting are excellent"

The Healing Arts

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