Busu and the Damask Drum

at Soho Theatre (preview) and Edinburgh Fringe Festival , Greenside @Royal Terrace

4 words: silly, energetic, cultural, charming

A group of traditionally-dressed Japanese performers sing and play a hypnotic melody waiting as we wait for the audience to sit. Then they charmingly ask us to turn off our mobile phones, showing their own flashy phones at us.

After that, Busu Company, the first all-Female theatre company from Tokyo, brings us 45 minutes of joy and delicacy with two pieces adapted from Yukiko Mishima, but despite the traditional costume performed in a very untraditional way. It’s a mixture of Kabuki, Kyogen, Noh theatre and pop Japanese culture. The first piece is a warm physical comedy about Busu, a meal that can’t be eaten, performed by a comic duo who work for and earn the laughter from the audience. The second story, The Damask Drum, has a slow start and is quite bizarre (in a good way). The story of a drum without sound and unrequited love that drives a gardener crazy to the point he kills himself is witchy and fantastical. The two pieces, in juxtaposition, make for a nice immersion into pop and traditional Japanese culture. Director Franko Figueiredo from StoneCrabs Theatre seamlessly mixes the two languages, cleverly interjecting English punch lines towards the audience, allowing us to follow the thread of the story.

There is something very charming and genuine about seeing these Japanese actors performing with such gusto on an empty stage, with just a few props and a lot of colourful make up and costumes. I’d recommended it for the cultural experience, the laughter and the colours.

@Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Greenside Venue @Royal Terrace

Wed 16th -Sat 26th (expect Sun 20) at 1.50pm

LINK TO TICKETS: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/busu-and-the-damask-drum

BUSU THEATRE: http://www.busutheatre.com