Hanoi (Mar. 18) + HCMC (Mar. 20-21)
In last month’s Twitter scare involving a ‘bot who said “I want to kill people,” we again got a vision of a future run amok. The question the upcoming TNT Theatre Britain production of Frankenstein asks is a timeless one: ‘How much progress is too much?’
In Vietnam’s finest opera houses, this question will once again be given a human dimension by director Paul Stebbings — who previously explored this style of “serious Gothic comedy” in last year’s Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. So says the press release, “This powerful work reveals why the name ‘Frankenstein’ resonates in the modern world like few others... perhaps our most potent symbol for our fear of a future beyond human control.”
2. International Women’s Day
Vietnam is lucky enough to have two Women’s Days — and just because you’re not expected to buy flowers for this one doesn’t mean you should just forget about it!
On Mar. 8 Saigon Outcast is putting the attention back where it should be — on all the fun stuff that women contribute to our world. There will be live performances of songs by feminist icons like Stevie Nicks and Joan Baez, DJs, workshops, arts and crafts, stalls selling things, spoken word performances and speeches, short films and more. Just like last time, all proceeds will go to Little Rose Shelter, a refuge for young girls who are survivors of — or at risk for — abuse and trafficking in Vietnam.
The International Women’s Day celebration will be an all-day thing at Saigon Outcast — 188/1 Nguyen Van Huong, Q2, HCMC. To find out other ways you can help Little Rose Shelter, type in littleroseshelter.wordpress.com
3. Ta Lai Trophy No. 2
Apr. 18 & 19
In Cat Tien National Park, the second edition of one of the most rugged races Vietnam has ever seen is taking place. There are two speeds, Challenge and Extreme — with between 38km of course length and 57km, not to mention the kayak/swim portion. If you’ve got a day-and-a-half to dedicate to redefining your relationship with the wild, the Ta Lai Trophy has the trails, mountains, farmlands and deep jungles for you.
The Ta Lai Trophy takes place on Apr. 18 and Apr. 19 at Cat Tien National Park. Teams of two pay VND3.2 million per person, which includes accommodation, meals and transport. Contact talai-adventure.vn for more info
4. The Vertical Run
Getting to the top of Landmark 72, the tallest building in Vietnam, sounds like a grueling affair even if you just take the elevator. But for those who are up for testing their strength (both body and mind) on Saturday Apr. 18, then expect the ascent on foot to take between 15 and 30 minutes. As the press release states — 1,914 steps, 350 metres, 72 floors. It’s a long way to the top.
Now in its third edition, the 500 or so runners who will attempt this feat will do so under the spotlight of the world’s media. Vertical runs are big, so big in fact that there’s a well-established world circuit.
So, this year we are asking you, yes you, dear reader, to get involved and stretch those leg muscles.
For more information go to runhanoi.com or see our article
5. Pharrell Williams
Tet’s just finished, March is slowly winding into gear and you can tell that we’re clutching at straws when we’re about to report a rumour. But sometimes rumours might quite be true, especially when you hear them from the horse’s mouth (sic).
Yes, all being well, singer-songwriter, rapper, producer and fashion designer Pharrell Williams will be playing in Saigon in April. As ever, details are scarce — and we’re not even able to report which entity will be shuttling this icon in. All we can say is watch this space. Who needs Shane Filan when you can get Pharrell?