Japanese Language Theatre at The Barbican
As part of the Bite09 season at the Barbican in London there are two plays that will be performed in Japanese (with English surtitles). Both by Internationally renowned companies.
The other is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by NinaGawa, Sochiku Grand Kabuki.
I have seen a previous adaptation of Coriolanus by this company and they are impressive stagings. The Japanese feels very fast, possibly because they are trying to fit in a longer text. I found the women easier to understand but I was able to follow the speeches I had learnt at school (in English). The ending was suitably manga-esgue with Coriolanus spraying red arterial blood all over the white costumes in the best tradition of a samurai duel.
This play is Twelfth Night done in the manner of Kabuki. My wife tells me the actor is a very famous Kabuki actor. Judging by the photographs the play gets the full Kabuki treatment. Niwagawa company is very famous and at the time of writing this there aren’t many seats left.
Tickets for these plays are from £10 to £40.