HAVING played to standing ovations and critical acclaim in the USA in 2014 and 2019, Abrahamse & Meyer Productions is thrilled to announce its celebrated production of Yukio Mishima’s modern Noh masterpiece The Lady Aoi is finally coming home to the Mother City when it opens in the Artscape Arena on November 17, 2021.
Described by the American press as “eerily sexy…brilliantly skilful” and “breath-taking,” this production is a dazzling fusion of visual and physical theatre, puppetry, mask work, original music, and sumptuous design. Veteran director/designer, Fred Abrahamse directs this production that features the acting talents of Marcel Meyer and Matthew Baldwin, an original score by the incomparable Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, and lighting by the multi-award-winning Faheem Bardien.
Yukio Mishima, one of the most celebrated authors of the 20th century, transmuted a familiar Japanese narrative into a startling, modern play about unrequited love, obsession, passion, and possession in which the living ghost of a mistress scorned, nightly torments the body of her former lover’s wife.
David Kaplan, curator of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival, USA, said of the production: “In this fresh staging, what Freud defined as the repressed subconscious, and Japanese legend depicted as the world of vampiric ghosts, the Abrahamse Meyer Company unveils as rapacious and unceasing love. The confluence of many streams − the plot of an 11th century Japanese novel, the classic 14th century adaptation into masked Japanese Noh drama, Yukio Mishima’s 20th century mask-less Noh play, the miracle of a lucid English translation, and the unique expertise of Abrahamse & Meyer melding West and East in the Japanese-inspired work of Tennessee Williams − all swirl together powerfully, buoyed by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder music, a score as complex and compelling as the wonder-filled production. Unforgettable: the staring eyes of the puppet heads.”
The Lady Aoi is the first production in an exciting summer season of world theatre that Abrahamse & Meyer has lined up at the Artscape Theatre Centre. It runs at Artscape Arena from November 17 to December 4, Mondays to Fridays at 7pm, and 3pm and 6pm on Saturdays. Running time is 55 minutes (no interval). Tickets are R250 through Computicket.