Country: UK Language: English Director: Amy Draper (@amyrosedraper)
Adaptation from: Sakai Stan’s long-running manga「兎用心棒」 (Usagi Yōjinbō) Script: Stewart Melton (@stewmelton) Design: Ele Slade (@EleSladeDesign) Lighting design: Joshua Pharo
Projection design: Nina Dunn (@nina_pixelpixie) Sound designer: Max Pappenheim (@max_j_p) Casting director: Annie Rowe (@AnnieRoweCasts) Fight director: Ronin Traynor (@RoninTraynor) Soundscore: Hirota Joji (@JojiHirota) Cast: Amy Ip (@amyip), Kuroda Haruka (@kurodaharuka), Siu Hun Li (@siuhunli) Jonathan Raggett (@JonathanRaggett), Tabuchi Dai Runtime: 95 min (no intermission) Official website: None for the play but Usagi Yojimbo (website for the manga) and Facebook page (manga)
Seen at Southwark Playhouse (@swkplay) in London on December 13, 2014. The play runs from November 28, 2014 until January 4, 2015. Details and ticket booking here. Suitable for ages 8+.
When I posted my first review on Otherwhere back in 2011, I never really thought about where blogging might take me. Three years on, there have been new-found Asian film fan friends (in London and elsewhere), plenty of screeners, invites ge previews, film festivals and even interviews, as well as the opportunity to do a photoshoot for GIGAN magazine a few months back with several London-based Japanese actors – one of whom was Tabuchi Dai. I have been following Dai’s work ever since and was instantly intrigued when, a few days back, he started posting images on his Facebook page from a play he was involved in: Usagi Yojimbo at the Southwark Playhouse. So off to the theatre I went.
Country: UK Language: English Director: Alexandra Rutter
Company: Whole Hog Theatre
Adaptation from:「もののけ姫」(Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke, Japan, 1997) Screenplay: not specified on programme or website Concept arts and set design: Polly Clare Boon Puppet design: Charlie Hoare Soundscore: Hisaishi Joe, arranged by Kerrin Tatman for the play Cast: James Blake-Butler, Lilith Brew, Adam Cridland, Oliver Davis, Andy Elkington, Jack Gyll, Jackie Lam, Amelie Leroy, Mei Mac, Miyake Yuriko, Jess Neale, Maximilian Troy Tyler, Victoria Watson, Samuel Wightman, Elizabeth Mary Williams Runtime: approx. 130 min (including 20 min intermission) Official website: http://www.wholehogtheatre.com (London performances),
http://www.princess-mononoke.jp (Tokyo performances – 日本語)
Seen during the play’s first run at the New Diorama Theatre in London. I attended the Friday evening performance. Further Princess Mononoke performances are scheduled for Tokyo (April 29 – May 6, 2013) and London (June 18-29, 2013). London tickets are sold out.
Note: I provide no synopsis of the story here – this review presumes you are familiar with Miyazaki Hayao’s film already and hence is also full of spoilers.
How does one even begin to imagine a stage adaptation of an animated film of the calibre of「もののけ姫」(Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke, Japan, 1997), made by the masters of Studio Ghibli and well loved the world round? It is not a challenge that most – even those with plenty of experience and unlimited budgets – would want to take on, but the Whole Hog Theatre, a young performance company from Leamington Spa, England, with only a handful productions (Dangerous Liaisons, Constanzo and Five Kinds of Silence) to their name, was undaunted by the task and simply went ahead anyway. Continue reading “Review: The Whole Hog Theatre’s「もののけ姫」(Princess Mononoke) Stage Adaptation”
Country: Japan Language: Japanese Director: Ishii Gakuryu (Ishii Sogo)
Adaptation from: an absurd play of the same title by Maeda Shirō (前田司郎) Screenplay: Maeda Shirō, Ishii Gakuryu Cinematography: Matsumoto Yoshiyuki Cast: Sometani Shota and others (see below) Runtime: 113 min Trailer: on YouTube Film’s official website: Ikiteru.jp (in Japanese)
Country: South Korea Language: Korean Director: Lee Jun-ik Screenplay: Choi Seok-hwan Adapted from a play by: Kim Tae-wung Cinematography: Ji Gil-Wung Soundscore: Lee Byung-woo Cast: Gam Wu-seong, Lee Jun Ki, Jeong Jin-yeong, Kang Seong Yeon Runtime: 119 min Trailer: on YouTube