Notes taken from the productionfs pamphlet.

'Bridges built from Words'

by Hikaru Okuizumi (110th Akutagawa Prize winning author)


At last the curtain rises on the Shakespeare Company Japanfs stage. Firstly, many, many, many congratulations.

It will be very interesting to see how this Sendai-based troupe will serve up this classical work from England, and especially how these actors, whose mother tongue is Japanese, will cross the bridge between Shakespearefs very peculiar language and everyday language.

Building a bridge between two languages. The act of liberating a work with its purely dormant text into a location where it once lived, this of course is the root of any theatrical action. Nevertheless, in modern Japanese theatre, one eventually gets dizzy at the authority of eliteraturef and there are very few plays where the physical body of the actor competes against the language of the work. Passing by the Angler Theatre (??) c. c authority has been mostly destroyed. But in the case of Shakespeare, itfs a different story. Besides a few extraordinary exceptions, there have been too many plays which have presented the beautiful corpse of Shakespeare. Moreover, Shakespeare is the final remaining fang of authority in eliteraturef, so as to speak, and the act of bringing his works to a broad and beautiful place is the subject which modern Japanese theatre has now to tackle.

To this point, the Shakespeare Company Japan is worthy of applause for waving a charmed hand at this fortress of a work with its iron walls, and for having the courage to conquer it from head on. The script is spoken in dialect. They probably never thought such a method would work so well. The extraordinary tenacity in Shakespearefs language, the simply overbearing power, the fact that they understand this deeply is the basis of expectancy.

Itfs not the passing by of two languages, but if, within the actorfs body, they were to bang into each other with an almighty crash and if that moment is expressed upon the stage, then this audacious experiment will be a success.