Monday, 16 July 2012

Ishinha Theater Company

We went to see a production by the Ishinha theater company in Kobe yesterday. The performance is titled 'yugao no hana shiroki yuugure' and took place in a converted factory in Kobe's port area.

From what I could gather the story is set in war time Osaka and about life in the city at this time. There isn't too much dialogue but not being able to follow what was being said didn't spoil my enjoyment of the play as it is very visual.

The stage is quite minimal with a forced perspective that gives it depth, and looks vaguely like a street. The performers, dressed in period clothes and with faces painted white, appear from between the 'buildings' often disappearing again the other side and a lot of the time many things are happening at once on different parts of the stage.

The lighting was also impressive, casting interesting shadows and highlighting parts of the stage. At one point the performers use window frames as props, these also cast lights onto the stage creating interesting shapes and movement.

The music was especially good and gave the whole performance a great atmosphere. After the play I bought a copy of the music on CD from the stall outside, luckily enough the composer was on hand to sign it for me!

This was the first time for me to attend a performance of this kind but has left me wanting to see more, I shall be looking out for more from the Ishinha company in the future!

For more information, see their website here

The stage after the performance.

The foyer of the converted factory.

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