We have moved the stage for "Macbeth" from Scotland to Ohshuu in North-East Japan, during the transitional period between the old and middle ages, and our drama
unfolds during the war for the successors of the Ainu people. The witch at the centre of the tragedy is the sorceress of Mount Osorezan, Itako. Macbeth wants to hear
his own inner voice from the mouth of Itako and soon starts rolling down the path to destruction. With Itako's bewitching speaking as a kind of through bass, the stage
is filled with a special North-Eastern smell. Whilst groping for the words that will bring to life the theatrical irony and fertile imagery that are battling away (as
stillness and sound, as costumes and the physical body, as blood and milk, as dark and light which are flowing and undulating in the script), we will carve into relief
the pathos and loneliness of those who can only live out the destiny they choose for themselves.
The newest challenge with "Macbeth" was whilst continuing to adhere to the nasal sounds and mid-labial vowels that are the 'sound' of dialects of North-Eastern places like Tsugaru, Shimokita, Nambu, Akita, Shounai, Sendai and Aizu, we paid attention to the energy residing in North-Eastern vocabulary, and chose words which balanced the volume and imagery of the original, but wouldn't be the words of a pure dialect, and we groped around for a dialect which whilst borrowing the magnetism of the Shakespeare's language would work as a theatrical language, a stage language, and as an artistic language. At the root of this experiment is the thinking that if we are compacting a person's life into a two hour drama, then the language of the drama cannot be the same as everyday language.
When an actor is producing words as a script an important thing is the muscularity of the words. In English muscularity has a slightly sarcastic image to it but, it has good physicality. In other words we need to know where the words are asking us to breath. How do we need to use the muscles around the mouth, the tongue or the teeth? And from there what kind of expression or feeling should be created. Compared to standard Japanese, Tohoku-ben is characteristically a strong physical language. At least, the 'sound' of Tohoku-ben requires facial expressions and workings different to when speaking the standard language. This is because the language and the body are neutral. Fusing with Shakespeare, I wonder what will come out from the colliding Tohoku-ben. I hope the audience is satisfied by the 'sound' of the language that the actors produce, more than by the meaning of the words themselves.