The magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
The magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan

UK arts events in Japan

Musical

Billy Elliot the Musical

Set in northern England during the 1984–85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot tells the story of an 11-year-old boy with a tough upbringing who dreams of dancing and being on stage. The film was adapted in 2005 for the West End stage, where it became an instant hit. This performance, a Japanese version of the modern classic, features four talented young Japanese boys playing the character Billy.

City Tokyo
Date 25 July–19 October
Schedule Various times
Address TBS Akasaka ACT Theatre
5-3-2 Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-3490-4949
Price Adults: from ¥9,500

More events

Musical

Lady Bess

Based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I up until the age of 25, when she became queen, Lady Bess is a musical by Michael Junze and Sylvester Levay. The production, which premiered in Japan in 2014, is a fictionalised account of the monarch’s upbringing. This performance sees the return of Shuichiro Koike, who directed the premiere, along with the original cast.

City Tokyo
Date Until 18 November
Schedule Various times
Address Imperial Theatre
3-1-1 Marunouchi
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-3201-7777
Price Adults: from ¥4,000
Exhibition

Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave

As part of a joint international project with the British Museum, the works of famed ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai are featured at this exhibition, which focuses on his original drawings from the last 30 years of his life. In addition to influencing Van Gogh and Monet, his piece Under a Wave off Kanagawa (also known as The Great Wave), is one of the best-known artworks in the world.

Under a Wave off Kanagawa, Katsushika Hokusai (about 1830–33)
© The Trustees of the British Museum. Acquired with the assistance of the Art Fund.

City Osaka
Date Until 19 November
Schedule Various times
Address ABENO HARUKAS Art Museum
ABENO HARUKAS 16F
1-1-43 Abenosuji
Abeno-ku, Osaka
Phone 06-4399-9050
Price Adults: ¥1,500
Exhibition

Windsor Chairs—British Chairs Admired by Japanese

Built from a seat of solid wood into which the chair back and legs are connected, Windsor chairs first appeared in Buckinghamshire. They came to be highly admired by the founders of the mingei craft movement, Yanagi Soetsu and Hamada Shoji, as well as stencil dyeing artist Keisuke Serizawa.

City Tokyo
Date Until 23 November
Schedule 10am–5pm (Last entry: 4:30pm; closed Mondays except for holidays, in which case closed the next day)
Address The Japan Folk Crafts Museum
4-3-33 Komaba
Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-3467-4527
Price Adults: ¥1,100
Performance

One Green Bottle

This is an existential three-character tragicomedy, written by leading Japanese playwright and director Hideki Noda. In this English-language adaptation, the British actors Kathryn Hunter and Glyn Pritchard play the roles of father and daughter, respectively. Hideki Noda himself plays the mother, as he attempts to bring modern Japanese theatre to a wider international audience.

Art direction: Yuni Yoshida

City Tokyo
Date 28 October–19 November
Schedule Various times
Address Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre
1-8-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro
Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Phone 0570-010-296
Price Adults: ¥6,000
Concert

Muse

Muse is an English rock band from Teignmonth, Devon, that formed in 1994 and who incorporate electronic and classical elements into their music. They have sold over 20mn albums worldwide, and have won numerous awards. They also have claimed two Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album, two Brit Awards for Best British Live Act, five MTV Europe Music Awards and eight NME Awards.

City Yokohama
Date 13 and 14 November
Schedule Doors: 6pm
Address Yokohama Arena
3-3-10 Shin-yokohama
Kohoku-ku, Yokohama
Phone 03-3499-6669
Price Adults: from ¥10,000
Event

Bridge Street Market

Radio DJ Guy Perryman MBE is back with his annual British market-themed event in Tokyo. Perryman aims to recreate the feel of a true London market place, inspired by the exciting and creative vibes of those found in Covent Garden, Camden and Borough. This event, in the heart of Harajuku, aspires to act as a bridge between Japan and the rest of the world, creating a community spirit in Tokyo, and features artisan products from both Britain and Japan. The perfect way to start off the festive season.

City Tokyo
Date 18 November
Schedule 12pm–8pm
Address BA-TSU Art Gallery Omotesando
5-11-5 Jingumae
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-3407-1145
Price Free entry
Film

Swiss Army Man

Written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, this comedy–drama tells the story of Hank, a man lost on an island. Just as he is about to kill himself, he sees a body wash up on the shore. The dead body, played by British actor Daniel Radcliffe, appears to possess a variety of strange powers that Hank can use to help him get off the island and make his way back to civilisation.
The film won the Best Director Award in the US Dramatic category at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

PHOTO: © 2016 Ironworks Productions, LLC.

City Tokyo
Date From 22 September
Schedule Various times
Address Toho Cinemas Chanter
(Among other locations)
Hibiya Chanter, 1-2-2 Yurakucho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-5521-8048
Price Adults: from ¥1,800