The Smashed Project has gone live in Vietnam – with a preview and pilot tour of schools in Ho Chi Minh City. I was thrilled to be in attendance at the preview and the response from schools over the last week has been fantastic.

It was a ground breaking moment for the Smashed Project. After months of work with Socio Muso, our company in Ho Chi Minh City, my taxi pulled up in the pouring rain outside Dancenter, our venue. It was a great experience. I went in to be greeted by the whole Socio Muso team – Matthew and Angela along with the actors, translator, administrator, along with friends and family of the team. Tung from Diageo had made the trip down specially from Hanoi which was also very special. To watch the performance in Vietnamese was fascinating, not least to genuinely realise that theatre is a universal language – I recognised so much of the script through the performance I put down the translated version I was referring to.

Since that night the Smashed project has piloted the show and workshop in five schools across HCMC, reaching over a thousand young people. Responses have been fantastic. A teacher said “The show has inspired us and we really enjoyed the educational performance”. The Principal said she would definitely have the show back in the school, and that they want more education performances like this. She also said “The show has made me very happy and there are no words to express my thanks”.

Further performances are arranged and we hope the evaluation report bears out our belief that the project will positively impact on young people’s awareness of vital issues relating to underage drinking. A big thank you goes out to Angela and Matthew, and the whole Socio Muso team for the hard work making Smashed a reality in Vietnam. We hope this is the start of a journey in Vietnam as we review the programme and explore next steps in engaging young people on this vital issue.