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Anjin: The English Samurai

Gregory Doran Sadlers Wells

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#1 Honoured Guest

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:02 PM

This production from Tokyo, directed by Gregory Doran three years ago, is transferring to Sadler's Wells from 31 Jan to 9 Feb. The cast includes Stephen Boxer amongst its international cast, largely from Japan and the UK. It was originally announced by the RSC as the fourth show in their A World Elsewhere season, alongside the three new RSC productions in the Swan this winter. But Sadler's Wells is promoting the run, which has been onsale for a while, without a peep from the RSC. Anyone interested?

#2 xanderl

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

Thanks for pointing this out, had completely forgotten about it. Shame the RSC isn't involved as it would counter the controversy about Orphan of Zhao casting! Wonder what happened?
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#3 xanderl

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

Since Doran directed the Tokyo production, wonder if he has a private financial interest in it so it can't be promoted as an RSC production due to conflict of interest with his new role?
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#4 xanderl

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 07:08 PM

Interestingly this is mentioned in Doran's intro to the Orohan of Zhao programme - "we are presenting" it as "a coda" to A World Elsewhere and it was "originally commissioned for this season"

Odd phrasing!
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#5 xanderl

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:35 AM

This is featured in the new RSC members newsletter, and there's an offer of top price tickets for £30 for members (so I'm glad I didn't book earlier!)
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#6 xanderl

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:59 AM

Reviews are in - raves in the Telegraph and Standard, a bit lukewarm in the Guardian.
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#7 Honoured Guest

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

Unfortunately this resembles a school play directed by the ageing Head of School Plays, written by the ageing Head of English and acted by a broad cross-section of pupils. It's all RSC-by-numbers which is a very limited form of theatre. Gregory Doran Swan Theatre lovers must love it.

However, the Japanese lead actor Masachika Ichimura is truly magnificent in his two final scenes and I think I may always remember them.

#8 xanderl

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:00 PM

Oh dear. Seeing this at the weekend

What's the running time please? I have to race across London afterwards!
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#9 Honoured Guest

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:41 PM

View Postxanderl, on 06 February 2013 - 01:00 PM, said:

Oh dear. Seeing this at the weekend

You may well enjoy it! The Japanese production, i.e. the design and the music and so on, is very good but I'd have much preferred to see one of their own, fully Japanese shows. This is mostly a dramatised history essay, like Written on the Heart last year, and is less subtle than David Edgar's play. This is a good example of the dire RSC tendency to conceive an outline for the contents of a play and then employ someone to write it for them, ending up with a plodding pageant containing just a few flashes of genuine drama. Other theatres follow the more sensible route of producing plays which playwrights have written from personal impulse.

View Postxanderl, on 06 February 2013 - 01:00 PM, said:

What's the running time please? I have to race across London afterwards!

The published running time has been extended from 3h to 3h 15m but last night it came in at just under 3h, with no delays and no audience reaction to most of the intended humour, etc.

#10 xanderl

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:53 PM

Great, thanks. I will go with an open mind :)
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage




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