This morning, before rehearsals, I attended an interview between Ninagawa-san and the Komadori sisters. This interview was one of a biannual series, and I presume that it was organised so as to tie in with the upcoming production of ‘Hamlet’, in which the two sisters are due to make an appearance. The interview itself was very interesting, and unlike the film I watched on Friday, I actually understood a great deal of what was being said. The only problems I had were with the audience Q&A session which followed, mainly because I couldn’t quite work out why people kept breaking into tears. I think that the first two audience members were asking empathetic questions about the sisters’ harsh upbringing in post-war Japan, whilst the third questioner seemed to be asking about existentialism. At any rate I really did not have the Japanese in my locker to join in, although a couple more sessions like this and I’ll be able to add ‘can burst into a flood of tears at will’ to my growing arsenal of acting prowess.
The logistics of the staging for Hamlet mean that four separate trapdoors are employed. These are all quite large; take up prominent positions on the stage; and out of necessity (for entrances and exits) are left open during a lot of the action. There have thus been a couple of near misses, but today one of the actors finally went one better and fell head first down into the depths. Thankfully she didn’t seem too hurt, but was taken to hospital as a precursory measure; surprisingly I wasn’t chosen to accompany her.