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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.
With over 130,000 visitors attending MCM London Comic Con in October 2015, this places MCM as the largest Modern Pop Culture event in Europe and the third largest in the world, just behind San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con.
With an attendance of over 420,000 visitors across all events in 2015, MCM Comic Con events are the UK & Europe’s largest and most exciting pop culture shows, and the only UK based shows that bring together such a broad scope of popular culture categories including; Movies, Gaming, Comics, Anime, Television Shows, Gadgets, Music, Clothing and Toys.
ASUNA (Asuna Arashi, Japan) uses large collections of multiples to explore interference and drones in installations and live performances. Evolving from previous projects EACH ORGAN and 100 Keyboards, the current tour 100 TOYS uses many tiny cheap toys to create a multilayered and fascinating plastic universe of drones, loops, sonic moire and occasional pop implosions. People are invited to stand around his set and get up close as he works his magic. ASUNA has shared stages with the likes of Jez Riley French and Simon Scott.
ASUNA will be joined by the very talented James Murray, Hybernation, and flying in from Belgium will be Hüwels/Dudal (the curators of the wonderful Slaapwel and Dauw record labels respectively).
HYPER JAPAN Festival returns in 2016 to a new home at the Olympia Grand. Tickets go on sale from March.
Friday 15th July: 12:00 – 20:00
Saturday 16th July: 9:00 – 15:00, 15:30 – 21:00
Sunday 17th July: 9:00 – 18:00
After blasting in to the international rock scene last year, BAND-MAID return with their hotly anticipated first major album. Entitled Just Bring It, the 13-track album, released under Nippon Crown in their homeland of Japan, will hit the UK and Europe from 10 February 2017 through JPU Records in two editions; the regular edition and a CD and T-shirt bundle.
2016 saw the band embark on their first headline world tour, including a sold-out show at The Underworld in London, over a thousand fans descend on Mexico’s Sala as well as packed out club-events across France, Germany and Poland, along with comic con appearances in London, Spain and Italy. The same year also saw the international release of the band’s HMV recommended mini-album Brand New MAID which led to the Huffington Post Blog dubbing BAND-MAID “one to watch”.
“I flew over to Japan to check out BAND-MAID two years ago, and they haven’t stopped knocking my socks off since. Just Bring It is probably their most powerful record yet. I can’t wait to get them back overseas to hear it live” – Tom Smith, JPU Records’ founder and CEO.
‘MCM Comic Con events are the UK and Ireland’s and most exciting pop culture shows, and the only UK based shows that bring together such a broad scope of popular culture categories including; Movies, Gaming, Comics, Anime, Television, Gadgets, Clothing and Toys.
We aim to put on the best consumer shows for the modern pop-culture market. Our show floors are packed full of activity from live eSports matches and cosplay celebrations to experiential opportunities inspired by the movies and brand new releases of your favourite games to play.
On top of all that we have the awesome Comic Village area for independent comic artists, VidFest for upcoming YouTube stars, PopAsia to revel in all things Asian inspired and Memorabilia, our collector haven. Our theatres also play host to exclusive screenings and panels of special guests, all whom take part in photograph sessions and signings throughout the weekend.
MCM Comic Con is THE destination event to celebrate all things pop-culture, it is not to be missed by any geek, nerd, cosplayer, or fan boy and girl!’
London’s very own festival of Japanese culture – Japan Matsuri – returns on Sunday, 29 September 2019 in Trafalgar Square in the centre of the city. A regular fixture now in the London calendar, this free annual festival brings people together to enjoy Japanese food, music, dance, and activities for all the family.
The concept of the theme this year is “Future generations”.
Everything kicks off at 10.00am and runs through till 8.00pm. With two stages, there is plenty to see all day. The programme of stage performance for this year is still being finalised and will feature exciting new acts as well as the return of favourites from previous Matsuri.
Enjoy the atmosphere with Japanese festival food from the numerous stalls. Join in the fun in the family activities area with games and dressing in kimono. Try your hand at Japanese cartoons on the manga wall.
Japan Matsuri is organised jointly by the Japan Association, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan Society and Nippon Club, with support from the Embassy of Japan.