Halcyon Days at the Riverside Studios
23 August - 18 September 2011
HALCYON DAYS, by renowned Japanese playwright and director Shoji Kokami, receives its English language premiere at the Riverside Studios between 23 August and 18 September. Also directed by Shoji Kokami, the text is translated by Brooklyn based, Tokyo born writer, director and performer Aya Ogawa. HALCYON DAYS follows the story of three people and one ghost who meet on a suicide website.
Examining the cult popularity of suicide websites in contemporary Japanese culture, the play looks at a decade where conflicts with other nations are sensationally streamed on 24 hour rolling news channels and terrorist organisations boast about their achievements on YouTube. Even chronic depression is catered for by the increase of ‘informative’ suicide websites. Are people becoming more jaded with their real existence? Has life lost sanctity and meaning?
Casting includes Mark Rawlings, who played Lennox in Rupert Goold’s production of MACBETH (Chichester/West End/Broadway), Abigail Boyd, Joe Morrow and Dan Ford. An outstanding figure in Japanese theatre since the 1980s, Shoji Kokami’s last performed work in the UK was TRANCE at the Bush Theatre in 2007. He was born in Ehime prefecture in 1958 and while at Waseda University, he launched The Third Stage Theatre Company, for which he wrote and directed more than twenty plays. His first overseas production was in 1991, when he brought THE ANGELS WITH CLOSED EYES to London (Mermaid Theatre), Belfast, and Edinburgh as part of the Japan
In 1995 he received the prestigious Kishida Kunio Playwright Award for THE LETTER FROM SNUFKIN and in 2010 he received the Yomiuri Literary Prize for his trilogy, including GLOBE JUNGLE. He regularly hosts radio and TV programs and contributes to professional publications in his native Japan.
HALCYON DAYS is presented by W-Squared Productions, and is graciously supported by the Embassy of Japan.
Currently £10 each, but will increase to £15 closer to opening night