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The World Shakuhachi Festival 2018 brings together many of the world’s best performers of the shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute, from all continents. It presents, at highest level, a broad cross-section of traditional and contemporary solo and ensemble music for shakuhachi. As an instrument, the shakuhachi is known by many people, but without being named or recognised. It has put in appearances in many film soundtracks, including the final Harry Potter films, and is on the other hand enjoyed by many because of its deeply meditative quality. The instrument is, however capable of a broad range of music, from quiet to energetic and stimulating, alone, and grouped with other instruments, from Japan and elsewhere. The broad spectrum of its music will appeal to music lovers from all walks of life and with all tastes, from traditional to modern, from meditative to ‘world music’.
The WSF2018 will offer an unique opportunity to experience the world of shakuhachi close up and in a variety not seen before in the UK or Europe. Our schedule is bursting with a wide range of concerts, workshops, lectures, talks, exhibitions, screenings and informal gatherings, bringing together around 40 top-level shakuhachi performers from Japan and another 40 from other countries to play and teach. Whether you are a seasoned shakuhachi professional, an enthusiastic hobbyist or simply interested in discovering new cultural and musical territory, WSF2018 is the place to be.
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