Sunday, June 01, 2008

"The Sleeping King" (眠り王) by The Exile Company TARA

Bearing a slight resemblance to "The Neverending Story", playwright and director Hiroshi Harada's latest original work with The Exile Company TARA is the story of a young boy who finds himself moving back and forth between the pages of a book and the reality of his hospital bedroom. "The Sleeping King" (眠り王) displays Mr. Harada's delightful storytelling skills, and the current production includes several impressive acting talents (including Harada himself!) from Tokyo's independent theater circuit.

We saw the Saturday night performance of the show amidst a packed house at Woody Theater near Naka-Meguro station. The main theme of the play is facing one's fears as illustrated by the main character, a boy who is battling a life-threatening illness. The part of the young boy was played convincingly by actress Aiko Hashimoto (藍子 橋本). Also putting in a memorable performance was the villain of the play, Hiroshi Okazaki (瑶治 岡崎), with whom I acted in an educational video last year. A strong ensemble, as well as swift changes of scene and setting, help keep this show moving.

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