The Garage, Edinburgh
August, 2001

*** Japanese dance/physical theatre interpretation

I have a hunch that Company East are trading more on exoticism than prime quality in their production.

I have forgotten much of what I used to know about Japanese theatre conventions and style of presentation, but it seemed to me that, even within the formalities of onnagata in which male actors take female roles, Jin Hiroshi as Medea is, to be frank, queening it a little. One hopes that, in sequences where the each one of the chorus of dancers make the same moves, they are not supposed to be doing so in unison, for if so they are appallingly drilled.

But perhaps I have simply brought the wrong sensibilities to this production based on the Greek myth of the infanticidal spurned queen, which has earned plaudits in Greece and warm reviews so far in Edinburgh. The company seem to take a genuine delight in being here, as their extended curtain-call reveals, and most of the packed audience responds in kind.

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