Thursday, 17 January 2013

Sadako on Stage

I know ST has precisely one reader in Japan, but perhaps some other folk from the Land of the Rising Sun drop by here occasionally. Anyway, good news for theatre lovers in Japan; there's to be a stage play based on one of the most influential horror movies of modern times - Ring(u). Or rather, it looks like they're drawing upon the prequel, Ring 0, which makes sense as it would be a lot easier to adapt. 

Today, many of the images and ideas in the original Ring movie have been done to death. It's not so much the cursed videotape recording that's dated, but the imagery that - precisely because it was so effective at first - has dwindled in usefulness, not unlike certain antibiotics. Rather like the dark old house with the sinister butler and the madman gibbering in the attic, we have seen far too much of the long-haired female ghost and bleak modern settings - and that goes double for flickering strip-lighting in deserted corridors. So perhaps it makes sense to try and recapture some of the thrilling strangeness of the original concept in a theatrical context with a small cast. Anyway, I wish them good luck and hope nobody gets clonked on the head and shoved down a well - unless it's all pretend.
On Wednesday a press conference was held to announce an upcoming stage play revolving around Sadako, the main antagonist of the Ring horror franchise. Gekidan EXILE theater troupe members Keita Machida, Yuta Ozawa, and Shuhei Nogae were in attendance along with fellow performers Yu Hasebe and Hironari Amano. They were joined by special guest MAKIDAI of the pop dance group EXILE, director Yoshiko Hoshida, and Ring author Koji Suzuki.
According to Suzuki, plans for a stage play have been in the works for over 10 years, and finally started to move forward in earnest about 4 years ago.
The production, titled SADAKO -Tanjo Hiwa-, will revolve around Sadako’s youth as a member of the theater troupe Gekidan Hisho as the adults, lovers, and friends around her gradually cause her to be overcome with sadness, frustration, and hatred.
The play will run at New National Theatre Tokyo, Small Theater from May 3 to May 12.

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