Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kafka on the Shore

4.5/5 rating
Kafka on the Shore | Barbican

My first response as soon as the play started? Oh Damn!
It's nothing to do with the play. I just realised that the play is in Japanese. There were subtitles, or serftitles as they are called in theatre, in English on two large screens placed at the top corners of the stage. Given the expensive nature of theatre and the number of times we tend to go, we mostly buy cheap tickets (theatre monkey is your friend). So while we still had a great view of the stage, the serftitles were not exactly in line with our view and we had to keep switching the eyes from the board to the stage. I should have researched the play a bit more.

Ignore all the above. No question that it was authentic.

Kafka on the Shore is a book by Haruki Murakami. I haven't read it. I wanted to watch it without any prior impressions. The Ninagawa theatre company had adapted it into a Japanese play and is currently touring in London. 

I must say it was beautiful, surreal and heart warming. The sets were all encased in glass boxes on wheels moving around dizzyingly. The song had the melody of a floating lonely soul like all Murakami stories. The actors were brilliant and Kafka was as confused as one can be, even during credits. At one point, when the song was playing, I looked around the audience, only the faces lit by the light from the stage like moonlight, who seemed all entrapped and all drawn into the play that I could feel they are all ready to float away gently in the air and towards the stage.

It's a lovely play.
Would I have preferred it in English? May be not. It was perfect the way it was.

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