Cast and creatives have been announced for Tsunagu/Connect Live at Shoreditch Town Hall.
Created by Kumiko Mendl and Kazuko Hohki, New Earth Theatre’s produciton opens on 23 April 2022 and runs until 30 April 2022.
Tsunagu/Connect Live is an immersive, promenade performance using the exhibition as a set for a kaleidoscopic journey across continents and decades. The piece was developed in response to an oral history project launched in 2020, that conducted over 30 interviews with Japanese women living in the UK.
The ensemble cast includes Tomoko Komura, Meg Kubota, Yuki Sutton and You-Ri Yamanaka. They will all be taking on multiple roles.
Four Japanese women serve as tour guides on a kaleidoscopic journey across continents and decades, from Shōwa era Japan to the bedsits of 90’s London, via the Empire Windrush’s final voyage and present-day immigration nightmares.
Part exhibition and part performance, Tsunagu/Connect Live is told through a series of exhilarating and unpredictable stories that pop up in and amongst the exhibits revealing the interviewees memories, fears and aspirations. In their attempts to bridge Britain and Japan, the women reveal the complex, multi-layered reality of migrants reconciling with rootlessness.
The full creative team includes Dramaturgy and contributing playwright by Stewart Melton, design by TK Hay, lighting by Nao Nagai, sound by Tingying Dong and movement by Sachi Kimura. Anna Smith is the production manager and Zoe Smith the stage manager.
Kumiko Mendl, Artistic Director of New Earth Theatre, said:”Tsunagu/Connect has always been a passion project for me. Following the launch of the project back in 2020 and a whole pandemic later we are finally at the point we can share our discoveries.
“It has been an immense privilege and honour to hear the stories of our interviewees; of their hopes, ambitions, struggles and dreams and I am forever grateful for everyone’s generosity and time. I hope that by presenting a performance together with an exhibition, Tsunagu/Connect Live can literally pull the stories off the wall and make these hitherto undocumented stories from the past live today and for the future.”
For more information and tickets, visit shoreditchtownhall.com/whats-on/tsunagu-connect