RED DEMON (Aka-Oni)
These programs were operated under our old organization.
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Japan-Thai Contemporary Theatre Joint Production
A "legendary masterpiece" has come back to the stage. Red Demon
is a joint production of the Japan Foundation and the Setagaya Public Theatre
that was written and directed by Hideki Noda with a cast of 14 Thai actors
and British actor Angus Barnett-a cast that was carefully selected by Noda
himself, and it was first performed for three days at Theatre Tram at the
end of 1997.
Due to its few performances, in spite of the high praise it received,
it has come to be known as a "legendary masterpiece of the stage," for which
high hopes had been held for its remounting, as a result of which plans
have been made for its presentation as a participating work in the Tokyo
International Festival of Performing Arts '99.
In the first production, Angus Barnett played the role of the red
demon, but in the present performance series, it will be performed by Hideki
The unique gently flowing rhythms of the Thai language spoken by the
rest of the actors stand in contrast to the high-speed rhythms of Noda's
acting style and blend into an entirely new style of international joint
production theatre.(Performance in Thai with Japanese-language earphone
The story begins when a foreign man is washed ashore on the
beach near a village where That Woman (Ano Onna), who is shunned by
the other villagers, lives with her idiot older brother named Tonbi,
and where there is also a man named Mizukane, who dogs the footsteps
of That Woman.
The man who was washed ashore cannot understand the language
of the villagers, who call him Red Demon and greatly fear him. For
a time, the villagers hold Red Demon in high honor, but finally, they
decide to execute him.
And That Woman, who is the only person in the village that Red
Demon can communicate with, is suddenly about to be executed along
with him. Mizukane and Tonbi rescue That Woman and Red Demon and start
rowing them out toward the ship of Red Demon's countrymen in a small
boat, but there is no longer any sign of the ship and the four are
set adrift in the broad expanses of the ocean for a time.
|2:00 & 6:00 PM
|7:30 PM [National Holiday]
|After the performances on the 21st (Tue) and the 23rd
(National Holiday), post-performance talk sessions will be held.
A Message from Hideki
The script for "Red Demon" is as thick as a graduation year
scrapbook, because it has all the dialogue in three languages, Thai,
English, and Japanese, like simultaneous translation. Every time an
actor delivers five words, you have to turn the page. If you let your
attention wander for a minute you loose your place when the actors
are speaking. You search for your place, but all you hear is Thai
being spoken, and the dialogue of the Red Demon is even harder to
understand because I made up a language for him so that it would not
be possible to understand him! So it's my own fault that things get
thrown into such confusion at the slightest sign of panic.
I think that the weight of this script symbolizes the weight
of cultural differences, and the confusion, and that it expresses
the preciousness of coming into contact with another culture. The
fact that cultures differ from one another easily throws people into
confusion such as this. But it is very amusing as well. There is an
excitement that we never experience in our daily lives. It is a peak
experience. Cultural exchange is not about mutual understanding. It
is about savoring the differences-and that is the delicious
part. (From the 1997 performance pamphlet)
Theatre Tram (Setagaya Public Theatre Small Hall)
Nearest Station: Sangenjaya on the Tokyo Shin Tamagawa and Setagaya Lines
(exit from the Setagaya Line wickets)
¥ 4000 (tax included, all seats reserved)
Setagaya Public Theatre