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Be drawn into the faraway world of The Women of Ishikawa. It is a selection of strange, hilarious, and tragic folk stories from the mountains of Ishikawa, brought over from Japan and performed by Doubtful Sound. The show is in a mix of Kaga-ben (the local dialect) and English, and the stories are sprinkled with traditional folk songs from the SOAS Min’yo Group. The tales performed in Japanese have English subtitles.
The performance at the Daiwa Foundation includes a ghost who nurses babies, girls falling asleep on the shoulder of a monk, a collapsing cave, a mochi-fight, a potato digger, uncomfortably welcoming guests, a snake swordsmith, the queen of thieves, a lord who tells terrible jokes, an elderly lady under the floor, a young woman murdered by the sun, and a basket of bees. The show will include a Q&A session, providing a chance to ask the director, dramaturg, and musicians about the tales and songs.
About the contributors
Doubtful Sound is a bilingual theatre company who research, translate, and perform traditional stories and folktales from far flung areas of Japan. The group was formed in Tokyo in 2012 and have since performed the tales in ancient temples, Japanese gardens, pubs, over rivers, at festivals, and occasionally in theatres. Scenes are performed in Japanese and English with the Japanese scenes often in the local dialect of the area.
SOAS Min’yo Group
The SOAS Min’yo Group are a largely amateur bunch of Japanese folk song (min’yo) devotees who meet regularly at SOAS, University of London, to practice singing, instruments and some dancing. Launched in 2012 by David Hughes, a Japanese music specialist at SOAS, its members are of various nationalities, including Japanese. The Group have performed at many events around the UK and abroad.
For further information, see www.facebook.com/SOASMinyo, or email David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since storming the Fringe in the noughties Gamarjobat (pronounced Ga-ma-jo-bat) have become one of the few acts that can truly claim to be a global sensation, having performed in 36 countries, from Broadway to China, and racked up over 50 million views on YouTube. This year Ketch! (red mohican) and HIRO-PON (yellow mohican) are BACK and will be performing their West End Premier with a show packed full of their very best world-conquering fast-paced comedy. In the UK Gamarjobat have starred on ITV’s Tonight at the London Palladium, been twice winners of BBC’s BAFTA award-winning The Slammer and fronted Ketch! and HIRO-PON Get It On on BBC3.
The Art of Gaman is a stunning new play. It was a finalist in the American Playwriting Foundation’s prestigious Relentless Award.
Tomomi, a young Japanese woman stands at the hull of a ship staring out across the water to her new American life in the years prior to the Hiroshima bombing. There are stars in her eyes and a crackling radio pulled to her chest as she drifts towards a country, and a future, that resists her arrival.
The Art of Gaman is an aching exploration of displacement and loss of cultural identity when you find yourself in a country that considers you an enemy. When forgetting your past is shameful, but remembering brings even greater pain, Tomomi must harness the strength to find beauty in the struggle and carve out a new life for herself and be true to who she really is.
The Art of Gaman was one of 6 plays shortlisted for the American Playwriting Foundation’s prestigious Relentless Award.
World Rugby Museum adult ticket £12.50. Concessions available.
As the Japanese taiko drumming troupe make their way back to London, they bring with them the Odaiko drums. These traditional drums, used in Shinto rituals, weigh over half a tonne each, and require exceptional skill and physicality to produce each floor-shaking note.
Dedicated to their art, the Yamato drummers train ferociously. On stage, they display a staggering strength, using their entire bodies to play and share with their audiences an intense passion that comes out in their pounding, high-energy and thrillingly thunderous performances.
“Primal, exhilarating; you want to do it too”
THE TIMES on Chousensha – The Challengers