118 Finborough Road, Kensington, London SW10 9ED
Harajuku Girls tells the story of three young Japanese women desperate to pursue their dreams, despite the obstacles that society and tradition put in their way. A play about friendship, fantasy, and what it means to be free. Opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 .
On Jingu Bridge in Tokyo, teenage girls dress in cosplay outfits for fun, fashion, and the fantasy of being someone else, but now their schooldays are over. Mari wants to be an actor but her father has other plans, Keiko’s found a harmless moneymaker – a “compensated relationship” with an older man and Yumi hopes she can get married one day and escape the dreary world of work . As the three young women grow up and apart, they tread the fine line between empowerment and victimhood in a desperate search for independence and the freedom to pursue their dreams.
Jude Christian directs the world premiere of this provocative and powerful new play by award-winning playwright Francis Turnly which takes us down the neon-lit streets and forbidden passageways of Tokyo where fantasy and reality can often become blurred.
Cast: Elizabeth Tan (Coronation Street, Waterloo Road), Haruka Abe (Cyber Bully, Cucumber) and Kunjue Li (Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders) with Nomo Gakuji, Meg Kubota, Sadao Ueda
Irish-Japanese playwright Francis Turnly’s previous plays include Hiding (Watford Palace Theatre), Descent (Jackson’s Lane) and Bogland (Irish tour). He has written several plays for Radio 4, recent work includes Brought to Light, Homestead and Point of Departure as well as the original detective drama, Hinterland. Francis has been a member of the Royal Court’s studio, Unheard Voices and ‘the 50’ writers’ groups.
Director Jude Christian was the 2013 winner of the National Theatre Studio Bursary for Emerging Directors. Direction includes How Do You Eat An Elephant? (National Youth Theatre of Wales), I’d Rather Goya Robbed Me Of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole (Gate Theatre London, Boom Arts Portland), Happy and The Mushroom (Pentabus Young Writers Festival), ©alculated to Death (Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival London and Future Shorts Tokyo), My Romantic History (English Theatre, Berlin) and Sonata Movements (RADA). Jude studied directing at RADA, and is Artistic Director of Concert Theatre, an Associate Artist of Diverse City and the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, and a Creative Associate at the Gate Theatre.