Cheo is a form of satirical musical theatre traditionally performed in the countryside of northern Vietnam by travelling touring companies, though modern cheo is increasingly performed indoors. Stories commonly involve legendary tales and musical accompaniment features significantly in the performances. In fact, the audience at a Cheo show applauds by way of banging a drum, often in response to the actions of a token flunky character. Be sure to check out a Cheo performance when in Hanoi.
Cheo blends dance, music and theatre and has been referred to as the 'opera for the masses' in contrast to other high-brow show arts such as Ca Tru. Traditionally, cheo was performed by peasants in Vietnam's north, but these days you can catch a professional performance in Hanoi. At one point in its history cheo was thought of as being an anti-establishment performance art. Indeed, cheo ruffled the feathers of the 15th century Le Dynasty and subsequent rulers.