Saturday, 9 February 2013

Anjin at Saddlers Wells

Owen's Review
A rough thundery sea swirled and hit the bow of the ship. Suddenly, the ship crashed against the rocks of a far of land called “Japan”.

Based on a true story, the samurai on patrol found William Adams and his crew ship wrecked on their land. At the time, Japan was part controlled by Christian Jesuits who were worried that Adams would affect their influence so they tried to get the entire crew crucified as pirates. The shogun, Layasu asked to see Adams because he was curious to hear about the other side of the world he was particularly interested in the Spanish and English weapons.

The first lord of Japan had died and his son who is only seven years old is now in charge. His mother, Yododono hates leyasu and supported by the Jesuit Christians, declares war on him. Whilst at war Adam’s skills with cannons and his special technique at firing two cannons at once wins Leyasu the battle and he is rewarded the title of Anjin, samurai.  Anjin marries a Japanese lady and abandons this wife in England.  

After fourteen years of peace a final battle is declared and lady yododano is defeated for the last time the new shogun becomes the new leader and sets a strict policy that no Christians are allowed in Japan.

When I watched the play I didn’t expect it to be a comedy. I expected it to be heroic plots and characters. However Anjin played by Steven Boxer was like a pantomime actor. I quite liked the priest played by Yuki Furukawa because he was very expressive. The mother played by Yoki Sadadana was a powerful actor because she was good at expressing emotion. The scenery was poor because it was a cliché representation of Japan. They even had cherry blossom trees inside the palace. The tickets were over priced at £60 for my mum and me (which included a discount).  This means the theatre is only accessible to the wealthy.   Over all, I was disappointed and would not recommend the play.