'Mercury Fur' exposes a caring kind of depravity

Feb 18, 2015

'Mercury Fur' exposes a caring kind of depravity

by Nobuko Tanaka

After the premiere of “Mercury Fur” at Theatre Tram in Tokyo’s lively Sangenjaya district this month, Issey Takahashi, who stars in that dystopian 2005 play by Philip Ridley, declared: “I think this is a very dark prophecy, but as I was acting my character ...

Theater tale of two cities highlights Tokyo's loss

Feb 18, 2015

Theater tale of two cities highlights Tokyo's loss

by Natsume Date

Built to commemorate the International Year of the Child in 1979, and opened in 1985, the marvelous National Children’s Castle (Kodomo no Shiro) arts and sports facility in Tokyo’s central Shibuya district was closed this month — along with the 1,200-seat Aoyama Theatre and ...

Language no barrier to 'The River'

Feb 18, 2015

Language no barrier to 'The River'

by Natsume Date

Playwright and director Go Aoki is one of today’s many leading dramatists who emerged through the shōgekijō (small-scale youth theater) movement of the 1980s-2000s Though he founded his theater troupe Gring in 1997, and with it specialized in detailed and realistic conversational plays, he ...

No-frills dramatist casts Japan in a different light

Feb 11, 2015

No-frills dramatist casts Japan in a different light

by Nobuko Tanaka

The title of Yudai Kamisato’s new work “+51 Aviacíon, San Borja” references his grandmother’s address in Lima and the international telephone dialling code of Peru — but that only hints at the unusually cosmopolitan background of this 32-year-old Japanese playwright and director who also ...

Double bill seeks out unknowns

Feb 11, 2015

Double bill seeks out unknowns

by Nobuko Tanaka

Like many others in Japan’s rising performing-artist generation, 34-year-old Ney Hasegawa says he first felt the lure of the stage when he went to see shōgekijō (small-scale youth theater) plays while he was in high school. After that, he started taking an interest in ...

Malakhov brings borscht to ballet

Feb 4, 2015

Malakhov brings borscht to ballet

by Ayako Takahashi

“In my free time when I’m not taking classes or conducting rehearsals, I like to go to theaters and museums — or just go shopping and visit different parts of the city,” Vladimir Malakhov, The Tokyo Ballet’s new artistic adviser explained during our recent ...

Ninagawa still exploring in eighth take on 'Hamlet'

Feb 4, 2015

Ninagawa still exploring in eighth take on 'Hamlet'

by Nobuko Tanaka

Yukio Ninagawa’s “cherry-blossom” staging of “Macbeth” at the Edinburgh Festival in 1985, with actors in that famously Scottish play sporting kimono rather than kilts, was a sensation due to its radical reimagining of so revered a work. Since then, the 79-year-old director’s uniquely visual ...

Roppongi Kabuki cites sci-fi, punk

Jan 28, 2015

Roppongi Kabuki cites sci-fi, punk

by Ayako Takahashi

Known for its nightlife, its fleets of Ferraris and condos with sky-high prices, the affluent central Tokyo district of Roppongi will soon go where even that multinational neighborhood has never gone before — when the launch of a program named Roppongi Kabuki will see ...

Young gun Kinoshita takes aim at tradition

Jan 28, 2015

Young gun Kinoshita takes aim at tradition

by Mana Katsura

Though for more than 300 years it’s only been performed by men and boys, kabuki exists in the public imagination as actors engulfed in hair and makeup, wearing elaborate costumes and striking ostentatious poses on a vast stage. Despite this, works by the Kinoshita ...