Noh theatre and adaptation

9781408184721Theatre and Adaptation: Return, Rewrite, Repeat (Bloomsbury Methuen), edited by Margherita Laera, is out today! I have contributed to the book with the interview ‘Conservative Adaptation in Japanese Noh: Udaka Michishige in Conversation with Diego Pellecchia’. Instead of looking at adaptations of Noh plays by other theatre genres, or adaptations of other plays through the Noh techniques, I have reflected on what ‘adaptation’ means within the Noh tradition by looking at Udaka Michishige‘s shinsaku (newly written) Noh plays. “How does the notion of ‘adaptation’ apply to a classical theatre genre where language, dramatic structure, music, and mise-en-scene are prescribed by a canon? Can this English word be used invariably to describe works belonging to any cultural area? “

About the book (from the publisher website):

“Contemporary theatrical productions as diverse in form as experimental performance, new writing, West End drama, musicals and live art demonstrate a recurring fascination with adapting existing works by other artists, writers, filmmakers and stage practitioners. Featuring seventeen interviews with internationally-renowned theatre and performance artists, Theatre and Adaptation provides an exceptionally rich study of the variety of work developed in recent years. First-hand accounts illuminate a diverse range of approaches to stage adaptation, ranging from playwriting to directing, Javanese puppetry to British children’s theatre, and feminist performance to Japanese Noh”. 

The book is available for purchase in paperback or eBook on the usual internet vendor websites.


Collected works of Horigami Ken


I have recently purchased Horigami Ken’s Collected Works on Noh. Horigami, editor of  the now discontinued Nogaku Journal, is one of the few Japanese Noh critics who actually say upfront what they want to say. I very much appreciate his lucid performance reviews and insightful analysis of various more or less controversial aspects of the Noh world. I suggest this book to all those who are interested not only in the artistic and aesthetic face of Noh, but also in its contemporary cultural (i.e. political and economic) context.