Last night I went to see This Lingering Life, a Theatre Yugen production. It’s the third performance that I’ve seen from this amazing, unique local theatre. I don’t know a lot about traditional Japanese theatre performances but each time that I go, I’m able to learn a little bit more and gain so much appreciation for this niche art.
The first Yugen performance that I saw and this new one were very different from each other but had one striking similarity that stood out as especially creative for me. They each weave in many different inspirations and elements to create one story that’s been influenced by many other stories.
In the case of This Lingering Life, there are nine acts and each of these acts has been inspired by a different traditional 15th century Noh play. The traditional plays are different types of Noh plays (warrior, diety, mad woman …), written by different authors and exploring different themes. In this play, each act is a modern Western interpretation of one of those plays, woven together to create a themed storyline.
I find this interweaving of stories so intriguing. It shows that a great deal of thought and research and preparation went into the making of the performance before anyone even hit the stage.