Noh Unmasked

This is announcement is unrelated to Making Faces Theatre, but a sharing of news of Japanese mask making events happening around the UK over the next few weeks.

Oxford – Pitt Rivers Museumnoh-unmasked

Saturday 18 February 10.00 – 12.30, 13.30 – 16.00
Sunday 19 February 10.00 – 12.30, 13.30 – 16.00
Monday 20 February 12.00 – 16.00

Award winning Japanese Noh mask carver Hideta Kitazawa will be visiting the Pitt Rivers Museum for three days to demonstrate and explain the 650-year old art of Noh theatre masks. Hideta will be demonstrating his traditional skills on the Museum’s balcony. Free, no need to book, just come along.

London – ResearchWorks

Monday 20th February 2017, 18.00
Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Lecture Recital Room
Free, but booking is required.

The Japanese musical-theatrical genre of Noh can seem impenetrable to audiences unused to its conventions. This evening of sharing and discussion aims to uncover what it might have in common with other, more familiar traditions, and to consider new developments in one of the very oldest forms of theatre.

Noh is one of the world’s oldest continuously performed theatre traditions, passed down through traditional families for nearly 700 years. It is famed for the beauty of its masks and the astonishing presence of its actors. But what really makes it a living heritage?

Professor Mario Yokomichi, one of the most important 20th century scholars of noh has written:

“An image exists of noh as a rigid form that cannot be altered, in even the minutest ways. However, noh can be changed in multiple and various ways to the performer’s creative disposition. With this freedom, the performer is able to imbue the performance with their individuality and emotionally connect with the audience. As a result noh has been able to survive for hundreds of years. Because of the freedom within the performance of noh, it continues even today to draw in audiences and speak to their hearts.”

This seminar brings together international experts to debate the place of noh in today’s globalised culture, its influence on western music and theatre, and what actors and singers everywhere can learn from it. The evening will also feature a demonstration of noh techniques and innovations by the eminent noh actor Akira Matsui.

Panel Facilitator: Ken Rea, Guildhall School


Akira Matsui Master actor-teacher of the Kita School of Japanese classical noh theatre, designated Important Intangible Cultural Asset by the Japanese Government
Dr Ashley Thorpe Senior Lecturer, Royal Holloway, University of London, Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance
Dr David Hughes Research Associate, SOAS Department of Music
Hugh Quarshie (tbc) Actor, who will perform Rockaby by Samuel Beckett with Akira Matsui at LSO St Luke’s (Feb, 2017)
Jannette Cheong Author of Pagoda, an English noh play in three acts, and Opposites-InVerse (to be premiered at LSO St Luke’s in February, 2017)
Professor Richard Emmert Actor-teacher of the Kita School, Founder of Theatre Nohgaku, Professor of Asian performance at Musashino University, Tokyo; composer and director of numerous noh plays including Pagoda and Opposites-InVerse

Noh time like the present…

Tribute to Akira Matsui
LSO St Luke’s 24-25 February 2017, 7pm

A rare opportunity to experience the 650-year-old art of noh and the genius of Akira Matsui in performance as part of a bold collaboration with Western ballet, opera, poetry, music and theatre. Together these classical genres demonstrate their contemporary relevance, flexibility and innovative qualities.

To book..

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