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.


  1. Nicely summarised! good that you added the consumer advice at the bottom, it does seem a bit over priced.. It's also interesting to know what you thought about the different actors and the play itself.
    Just a thought, this wouldn't be a bad rough storyline for a film... if they put enough detail.

    -Hassan Horack (hi Owen ;D)

  2. Very good summary, short, and interesting. Well written!
    Keep them coming like this, and you should pass the Arts Award Bronze easily, I'd think. Good luck!

    --Hussein Horack..
    p.s. See ya soon Owen :)

  3. What a great review. It was interesting to read, and you'd obviously put a lot of thought into analysing exactly what was good and bad about the play.

    Helen (and Elsie, Oren and Nyle)

  4. This is a great review that gives a really interesting and detailed account of the play making the subject matter sound fascinating. You covered all aspects of the production so the reader had lots of information. I particularly liked the way you draw attention to the cliched use of cherry blossom to represent Japan -even as i was reading it I was thinking 'oh no what a cliche!'. I think its brilliant that you pointed out how tickets prices such as these exclude kids from poorer backgrounds. Too may reviewers only talk about the play and don't think about theatre in wider social context- which you obviously do. You gave enough information for me to be able to make an informed decision about seeing the play-and I decided it was not for me.

    Deirdre O'Neill