Bunraku (traditional Japanese puppet theatre) was in 2003 inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The National Theatre is hosting a two-part Bunraku performance, with guidance in English. Part of the Japan Cultural Expo programme celebrating Japanese arts and culture, the Discover BUNRAKU programme will showcase the “Nozaki-mura” scene from Shinpan Utazaimon.
First shown in London in 2006, Hideki Noda and Colin Teevan adapted Yasutaka Tsutsui’s short story, The Bee, into an entertaining performance. The play features four actors who switch between the different roles and is now available for viewing in one of Tokyo’s famous theatres.
For the third time, Prince Hotels & Resorts are hosting the British Fair. Multiple different events are being held across the 12 Prince Hotels throughout the metropolitan area, showcasing classically British food and drink products. The fair is sponsored by the British Embassy Tokyo, the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan, the Japan-British Society and the Japan Tourism Agency.
The National Museum of Nature and Science is holding a special exhibition, showing some of the fascinating ancient Egyptian artifacts that belong to the British Museum in London. Six mummies, research results and an introduction to the life and culture of that time will be on show.
Gilded catonnage mummy mask © The Trustees of the British Museum
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic British rock band Queen, an exhibition is being held in the Seibu Shibuya Modiva Hall. Unpublished photographs, valuable images, musical instruments and other valuable items will be on display, all while Queen’s music echoes around the hall.
During the pandemic Eric Clapton decided to gather Nathan East, Steve Gadd and Chris Stainton to film an acoustic live session, without an audience. A film of this performance will be shown at the Shinjuku Piccadilly cinema and other locations.
This is a 2019 coming-of-age comedy, starring Beanie Feldstein and directed by British director Coky Giedroyc. English journalist, author and broadcaster, Caitlin Moran wrote the screenplay, based on her 2014 novel of the same title.
Opening for the 2021–22 season will be eight performances of the timeless masterpiece, Swan Lake. Performed by the dancers of the National Ballet of Japan, the production is choreographed and produced by the British ballet teacher, choreographer, director and former professional dancer, Sir Peter Wright CBE.
Photo: Takuya Uchiyama
Artist David Smith (1906–1965) was one of the most renowned sculptors, and an influence on Sir Anthony Alfred Caro OM CBE, an English abstract sculptor. Caro’s style was modernist and was lauded as the greatest British sculptor of his generation. This mini-exhibition explores the importance of steel as a sculptural material.
Artwork: David Smith, Circle IV, 1962 @sato katsuaki
This exhibition focuses on the works of French artist René Lalique. He spent two years at the Crystal Palace School of Art in Sydenham, London. During that time he also practised as an apprentice goldsmith to leading Parisian Art Nouveau jeweller and goldsmith Louis Aucoc, who informed his work in jewellery and glass.
Left: Butterfly Brooch Sylphide c.1900, Private Collection, Courtesy of Albion Art Jewellery Institute
Right: Night Light Swallows, Body Tourbillions 1919, Galerie Orphée
The 2019 film The Lighthouse, starring British actor Robert Pattinson and US actor Willem Dafoe is a gothic psychological horror film that was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards in February 2020. This film has recently been released in Japan, and is not one to miss.
Euripides’ classic tragedy was brought to life through the 2014 National Theatre performance. In Euripides’ classic story, a heartbroken Medea—played by the late British actress Helen McCrory—plots revenge on her ex-husband. The production was filmed by the National Theatre and will be playing at Toho Cinemas Chanter and other select locations.
Photo: NTLive Media (C) Richard-Hubert-Smith
This musical, based on the BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, will premier in Japan this summer, performed by Japanese actors. The performance has been a hit in the London West End, as well as being nominated for the Lawrence Olivier Award in five categories.
The Barakura English Garden always has plenty of beautiful events. Coming up are the Rose Weeks. Celebrating the national flower of England, varieties of different species of rose, shrub rose and climbing rose will be in bloom, complementing the other plants flowering around them.
UK artist Ryan Gander has made a considerable mark on the international art scene. Recently, he teamed up with the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery to curate two concurrent exhibitions. One is titled Colours of the Imagination and pays tribute to the late Kotaro Terada. The second is an interactive exhibition called All Our Stories are Incomplete…, which focuses on light, or a lack of it. Should this pique your interest, make sure you visit the gallery.
Artwork: Tetsuo MIZÙ, Johann Sebastian Bach, 1990