By Yukio Mishima
Oval House Theatre, London
Director – Kwong Loke
Set & Costume Designer – Wai Yin Kwok
Lighting Designer – Pablo Fernandez Baz
Video Artist – James Scott
Performers – Stuart Brown, Rufus Graham, Filip Krenus, Meg Kubota, Seamus Newham, Masayo Okayasu, Ecco Shirasaka & Yuka You-Ri Yamanaka
Photographer – Mariam Alonso
Both plays are infused with a strong sense of loneliness, and the need for, pursuit and possession of love. Mishima’s characters become tragic heroes/heroines trapped inside their own desires.
When Yoshihide is commissioned by the Lord Horikawa to paint Hell, he sets about having his sadistic vision recreated live before him. Revealed in a cup of sake with a crimson maple leaf floating on it, his conceit comes with a hellish twist– causing a beautiful maiden to be roasted alive in the inferno of a falling carriage. Such is the price of true art.
“Wai Yin Kwoks design of paper screens, tatami mats and vermillion falling leaves is ravishing, as is the dancing of Yuka You-Ri Yamanaka, dressed in and exquisite silk kimono.” – Sam Marlowe, Time Out
“Just as the Japanese like to present their food carefully arranged and purchases beautifully wrapped, designer Wai-Yin Kwok has given them a very elegant setting.” – Howard Loxton, The British Theatre Guide
Wai Yin Kwok’s inspirational open-plan set, with its raised central area of 12 large low-cushioned tiles, serves for both the interior of the house in the first piece and the courtyard of the second, after the central tiles are removed to reveal a pond. The maple leaf is a crucial symbol, and the surrounding areas of the stage are scattered with them in Autumn colours. In the first piece four panels at the back serve as a screen onto which is projected a tree whose leaves fall during the performance leaving only two at the end, reflecting the resolution of the piece whilst in the second a single leaf becomes a symbol for death.” – Dave Jordan, Whats on Stage