Ninagawa’s Ancient Journeys

in Critical Survey
Author:
Daniel GallimoreKwansei Gakuin University, Japan garimoa@gmail.com

Search for other papers by Daniel Gallimore in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

The Japanese director Ninagawa Yukio, who directed all four of the Roman plays between 2004 and 2014, noted the challenge he faced in making Shakespeare’s Roman settings accessible for native audiences, his typical strategy being Japanisation. Ninagawa’s Brechtian strategy works two ways in offering audiences a helpful perspective on cultural difference while harnessing Shakespeare’s humanism to the anti-rational energies of his theatre that modernity had earlier suppressed. This article explores the mythopoeic aspect of Ninagawa’s project first in the context of comparative religion and then with an analysis of his Antony and Cleopatra (2011), which was innovative in casting a Japanese-Korean actress from the western Kansai region as Cleopatra against an established Tokyo actor. The polytheism that native Shinto has in common with ancient Roman religion is a significant subtext.

  • Collapse
  • Expand