5-6 Leicester Square
London WC2H 7NA
Katsura Sunshine, the first Western Rakugo Master, crosses cultures with centuries’ old storytelling and kimono comedy at the Leicester Square Theatre until 15 October.
With only a fan and a hand towel for props, Katsura Sunshine’s hilarious, fast-talking narrative is singularly Japanese and universally funny. Described as ‘the funniest man in Japan’, and a ‘one-man sitcom’ his storytelling (in English!) engrosses eight to 80 year olds. Katsura Sunshine invites everyone to ‘Come for an hour of laughter and leave with a piece of Japan in your heart!’
A tall, blond-haired Canadian wearing a kimono and top hat, Katsura Sunshine is the first Westerner to have completed the three-year, intensive, ‘live-in’ apprenticeship in Osaka to become a respected Rakugo Master and represent the 400-year-old classic Japanese art of comic storytelling. The apprentice slowly learns the craft through observation and imitation, attentive to the Master’s every waking hour including all the housekeeping chores.
Sunshine studied classics at the University of Toronto before going to Japan in 1999 to study Noh and Kabuki Theatre, at the same time continuing to write his own material and producing musical theatre. In 2008, he was accepted as an apprentice to the great Rakugo Master, Katsura Bunshi VI.
Katsura Sunshine performs at the Leicester Square Theatre before moving to New York off-Broadway. Book tickets (£15, concessions £10) online at www.leicestersquaretheatre.com or telephone 020 7734 2222.
Katsura Sunshine: Rakugo
Thursday 5 October 8.45pm
Friday 6 October 9.30pm (Rakugo for adults Three stories on the excesses of Edo; Sake, Gambling and Women)
Saturday 7 October 2pm (family show, children aged 8+) and 7pm
Thursday 12 October 9.30pm
Friday 13 October 9.30pm (‘Scary’ Rakugo show for Friday 13th)
Saturday 14 October 7pm
Sunday 15 October 2pm (family show, children aged 8+)
The Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Square Place, London WC2H 7BX
www.leicestersquaretheatre.com or telephone 020 7734 2222
Tickets: £15, Concessions £10
Running time: 75 minutes