Japanese re-telling of Romeo & Juliet with Queen music A Night at the Kabuki to be streamed globally
A Night at the Kabuki, the acclaimed Japanese stage production inspired by Romeo & Juliet set to the songs of Queen, is to be streamed globally on Friday 17th November and available until Thursday 30th November. Transported from the original setting of 14th century Verona, Italy, this production takes place in late12th century Japan at the start of the Samurai era where the rivalry between the Minamoto and Taira clans intensifies after their young heirs Romeo and Juliet fatefully fall in love.
The show – created by acclaimed Japanese theatre maker Hideki Noda OBE- was inspired by legendary Queen front man Freddie Mercury’s love of Japan. The title is taken from the title of Queen’s 1975 fourth studio album A Night at the Opera which features the classics Bohemian Rhapsody, Love of My Life and You're My Best Friend. ‘Kabuki’ is the equivalent word for ‘opera’ in Japan and embodies a playful spirit and a sense of maverick. The music used in A Night at the Kabuki are all original recordings of Queen’s masterpiece, and fans may also recognise the use of original drum and guitar recordings embedded in the show as sound effects. The current members of Queen guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and retired bassist John Deacon all gave their blessing for the songs and music to be used in the show.
The 2022 world tour was inspired by Queen’s manager, Jim Beach and his praise for the play after seeing the Tokyo premiere in 2019. Before departing for its world tour, it had played to over 70,000 people in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kitakyushu, winning the Grand Prize of the 27th annual Yomiuri Theatre Award. The streamed production was filmed at Sadler’s Wells and marks the first time a NODA MAP show will be streamed.
The 2022 London run featured all of the original core pairs of Romeos and Juliets including Takako Matsu an actress and pop singer who was the voice of Elsa in the Japanese version of Frozen, Takaya Kamikawa the long running male lead Detective Itomura in CSI: Crime Scene Talks, Suzu Hirose, who made her stage debut in the play (after an extensive film, television and modelling career), and became the youngest recipient to win the renowned Kinokuniya Theater Award for her portrayal in the production, and Jun Shison who is a global brand ambassador for Gucci.
Hideki Noda said, ‘’A Night at the Kabuki was one of the highlights of the career. When we started working on the project we weren’t sure how people would react to a new version of this legendary Shakespeare play set to iconic songs from Queen but audiences loved it and we’re thrilled to be able to share it with even more people with this global stream.’’
Hideki Noda OBE is a multi-award-winning Japanese playwright, theatre director, and actor. With his company Yume no Yuminsha he won Japan's most prestigious theatre accolade, the Kishida Drama Award, and was the emblem of the country's vibrant youth-theatre and small-scale Theatre Movements in the 70s and 80s. The company broke records by drawing 26,000 people to a one-day event at which he staged his version of The Ring of the Nibelungs - presented as a Stonehenge trilogy - at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo. The company presented work across Japan and at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival and New York International Art Festival, before disbanding in 1992. Hideki Noda has worked extensively in the UK: his Red Demon played the Young Vic in 2003, and The Diver was performed at Soho Theatre in 2008. The first show he wrote in English was The Bee, which was born from a workshop with London actors in 2006. It premiered at the Soho Theatre and received a 5-star review in Time Out, who called it a “highly unusual theatrical gem”. The Bee subsequently played Tokyo in English and Japanese and has played New York. He frequently works with actress Kathryn Hunter. In 2008 he was appointed artistic director of Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, and honorary professor in the Department of Moving Images and Performing Arts at the capital's Tama Art University. In January 2023, after his play A Night at the Kabuki was performed in London. Noda became the first Japanese recipient of the ISPA Distinguished Artist Award, a sign that his work in performing arts has been recognized on the international stage. He was awarded an OBE in October 2009.
NODA MAP was founded in 1994 by Hideki Noda after a year in London studying theatre on a Monbusho (Culture Ministry) scholarship. NODA MAP are known for producing both large and small scale theatre works including Kill, Pandra’s Bell, Oil, Red Demon (UK/Japan/Thailand/Korea), The Bee (UK/Japan/US/Hong Kong), The Diver (UK/Japan), The Character, South, Egg, and more. They won the grand prize at the prestigious Yomiuri Theatre Award with Fakespeare in 2021.
The show will be streamed (GMT) Friday, November 17 03:00 - Thursday November 30th 14:59
You can watch as many times as you like during the streaming period but please note that steaming will stop and become unavailable when the streaming period ends, even during viewing.
Tickets are available now from https://intl.stagecrowd.live/nodamap_q2022/