Hideki Noda and Noda Map Return to the UK With LOVE IN ACTION

The event runs 31 October – 2 November at Sadler’s Wells.

By: Apr. 18, 2024
Hideki Noda and Noda Map Return to the UK With LOVE IN ACTION
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Acclaimed Japanese theatre maker Hideki Noda and his production company NODA MAP will return to London this October with another re-telling of a literary masterpiece following their take on Romeo & Juliet set to the songs of Queen two years ago. Love in Action takes key events from The Brothers Karamazov set in 19thCentury Russia and re-imagines the story in Japan with some new twists and turns as well as a new, unexpected ending. The drama centres on a family of traditional firework makers and the murder of a father seemingly by his eldest son after they fall in love with the same woman. The show will arrive in London after a 75-date tour of Tokyo, Kitakyusyu and Osaka. The London shows will be performed in Japanese with English subtitles.

The cast of twenty-five includes some of the most prominent stars of Japanese entertainment, led by actor and member of J-pop group Arashi, Jun Matsumoto,Matsumoto will play the oldest son of the family and is joined by Eita Nagayama, most recently seen globally in last year’s critically acclaimed Japanese psychological film Monster, as the middle brother. Masami Nagasawa, best known internationally for her role in 2019’s action movie Kingdom, will play two roles including the youngest son. Also in the cast are Naoto Takenaka as the patriarch of the family and Noda Map regulars Nozomi Muraoka, Nobue Iketani and Kazushige Komatsu. 

Love in Action has been written by founder of NODA MAP Hideki Noda, who will also direct and appear as one of the main casts which he does in every production. The majority of the creative team behind A Night At The Kabuki return including set designer Yukio Horio, lighting designer Motoi Hattori along with his protege Makoto Kitazawa, costume designer Kodue Hibino, music director Marihiko Hara, sound designer Junko Fujimoto and choreographer Shighiro Ide.

Hideki Noda said, “We were overjoyed with the reception to A Night At The Kabuki from both London critics and audiences back in 2022 and we knew we had to come back with something even better. Love in Action will show another side to my work. It’s suspenseful, but not stereotypical suspense. It concerns the unbearable enigma of humanness. It is pure entertainment designed to capture the audience's attention as the actors move intensely in and around the stage. As a director, I always try to consider how I can create works which are a feast for the eyes, and as a writer, I always try to consider how I can write dazzling plot developments which exhaust the audience. I do not like to bore people. (In other words, I hate to be bored myself.) Boredom is what makes theatre die. Fortunately, the novel that Love in Action is based on has given me more than enough inspiration as well as a masterful plot. Our story, however, takes us to a place far removed from the original. And you can only see where it lands if you come to the theatre. As a side note, I am proud to come to London with some of Japan’s best actors. I hope London audience will enjoy such special occasion to see them act in front of them altogether. I am excited and a little nervous about how the audience in the world's biggest theatre capital will react to this play.’’ 

Hideki Noda OBE is a multi-award-winning Japanese playwright, theatre director, and actor. With his company Yume no Yuminsha he won Japan's most prestigious theatre accolade, the Kishida Drama Award, and was the emblem of the country's vibrant youth-theatre and small-scale Theatre Movements in the 70s and 80s. The company broke records by drawing 26,000 people to a one-day event at which he staged his version of The Ring of the Nibelungs - presented as a Stonehenge trilogy - at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo. The company presented work across Japan and at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival and New York International Art Festival, before disbanding in 1992, and the following year, he founded NODA MAP after studying in the UK. Hideki Noda has worked extensively in the UK: his Red Demonplayed the Young Vic in 2003, and The Diver was performed at Soho Theatre in 2008. The first show he wrote in English was The Bee, which was born from a workshop with London actors in 2006. It premiered at the Soho Theatre and received a 5 star review in Time Out, who called it a “highly unusual theatrical gem”. The Bee subsequently played Tokyo in English and Japanese and has played New York. He frequently works with actress Kathryn Hunter. He has collaborated with international playwrights and thespians, and his works have been performed in 28 cities across 13 countries, including Japan. In 2022, he brought A Night At The Kabuki to London and Taipei to great acclaim. In January 2023, he became the first Japanese to receive the ISPA 2023 Distinguished Artist Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the international performing arts community. In 2008 he was appointed artistic director of Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. He was awarded an OBE in October 2009.

NODA MAP was founded in 1994 by Hideki Noda after a year in London studying theatre on a Monbusho (Culture Ministry) scholarship. NODA MAP are known for producing both large and small scale theatre works including Kill, Pandra’s Bell, Red Demon (UK/Japan/Thailand/Korea), The Bee (UK/Japan/US/Hong Kong), The Diver(UK/Japan), The Character, Egg (Japan/France), One Green Bottle (Japan/Korea/UK/Romania/Taiwan), Fakespear, Usagi Nami wo Hashiru and more.


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