Wow… my last post dates back to August! I have been pretty busy keeping up with work and research duties and had little time to update my little blog here. I will make that a New Year proposition. Meanwhile, Mika Sato Eglinton, fellow PhD at Royal Holloway, theatre scholar and journalist, was kind enough to invite me to answer 20 questions on my life in Japan, which appeared on the Japan Times this Sunday. It was great fun to try come up with answers. Newspapers have limited space so my verbose answers had to be cut, and something got a bit lost in the process, but that is part of the game! Anyway, I will leave a link to the article here! https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2017/12/09/people/diego-pellecchia-heavy-metal-noh-collide/
Tokyo-based journalist Mark Buckton has interviewed me for an article featuring this month’s issue of Via, a magazine that is distributed at airports and limousine buses in Tokyo. I’m privileged to have many photographer friends who have taken great pictures of my performances and training.
Theatre 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.
I found this interesting comment by a rather famous Japanese anime voice actress, Ikezawa Haruna.
‘It began with an email from my father. “Do you want to go see Noh?”
If I think back, the first time I saw Noh and Kyōgen was as an elementary-school pupil when we went to see it as part of a Social Studies class. It was also the last time I’d seen it.
Kabuki and Bunraku, on the other hand, I’d been to see many times. I’d go to see Kabuki with a friend who liked it and would took me along. And Bunraku I’d gone to see with my father back in grade school. We’d take a lunch and watch the whole thing straight through.
Both of them were interesting and the memories and pictures of those times are still strong in my mind. But, I have no memory of Noh. Perhaps, Noh was, for me as a grade-school pupil, just a bit too stoic. Things would unfold on this mysterious stage. Mysterious people would talk of mysterious tales. In my young mind the only thing I took away from it was thinking, “This kind of world exists as well, but I don’t understand it very much.”
After that I never went to see Noh or Kyōgen of my own accord. I think that’s the case with the majority of Japanese of my generation….’