Getting to Noh: Noh Performance Highlights

Four noh masks laid out on a table

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Enjoy a highly aesthetic classical Japanese theatre style featuring dance, music and poetry

Acclaimed noh artists share performance highlights in celebration of the 2020 Japan-UK Season of Culture, as part of their European tour of classical and contemporary noh: Takasago and Between the Stones (written by Jannette Cheong with music by Richard Emmert).

Performing both types of noh in the same programme offers an opportunity to see some of similarities and differences between classical noh (sung in classical Japanese) and contemporary noh (sung in contemporary English). 

Noh actors
Akira Matsui
Kyoichi Kano
Teruhisa Oshima, 
Kinue Oshima
Shigenobu Uchida

Hayashi (instrumentalists)
Narumi Takizawa – nohkan flute

Naoko Takahashi – kotsuzumi shoulder drum
Eitaro Okura – otsuzumi hip drum
Kiyoshi Yoshitani – taiko stick drum

Theatre Nohgaku members:
Richard Emmert (Founder Director)
John Oglevee
Jubilith Moore
Laura Sampson
Ashley Thorpe

Takasago, written by Zeami, is one of the most important and well-known plays in the classical noh repertoire. It deals with the legend of the twin pines of Sumiyoshi and Takasago. According to legend, the spirit of the Sumiyoshi pine travels across Osaka Bay nightly to visit his wife, the Takasago pine, in a bond that transcends space and time. Takasago will be performed as han-noh, literally a 'half noh', featuring the very quick and strong second half of the play.

Between the Stones is a new English noh drama by Jannette Cheong with music by Richard Emmert, which explores how the burden of grief turns into a celebration of life, friendship and love, through the healing power of gardens. This is the third collaboration between author Jannette Cheong and founder of Theatre Nohgaku, Richard Emmert, and the second co-production with Unanico. The lead role is played by Kinue Oshima, the only professional female noh actor in the Kita school.

Kinue Oshima was also the lead actor in the first Cheong-Emmert collaboration, Pagoda (2009) - the first time that the Oshima Theatre and Theatre Nohgaku worked together on a joint production. Pagoda had its world premiere at the Southbank Centre in 2009 and went on to tour Dublin, Oxford and Paris and then opened at the National Noh Theatre in Tokyo in 2011 and toured to Kyoto, Beijing (at the National Centre for the Performing Arts) and Hong Kong. Pagoda was the first time for a British artist to write a new contemporary noh using classical techniques.

In collaboration with Between the Stones


Name: Getting to Noh: Noh Performance Highlights
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £20.00
Member: £20.00
Student: £10.00
Registered Unemployed: £10.00
Under 18: £10.00
Senior (60+): £18.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546