Go to main content
Adaptation of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" by late Japanese renowned theatre director to be staged in June (with photo)
     "NINAGAWA Macbeth", a work by the significant Japanese theatre director Yukio Ninagawa, who passed away in May last year, will be staged in June. The production features a strong line-up of Japanese stars, with the ambitious Macbeth and Lady Macbeth played by artists Masachika Ichimura and Yuko Tanaka (a lead actress of the renowned Japanese television series "Oshin").
     "NINAGAWA Macbeth" adapts the story of "Macbeth", one of Shakespeare's four great tragedies, and sets it in the Azuchi-Momoyama period of Japan in the late 16th century. The original Scottish warriors are transformed into samurais and the Great Birnam Wood is turned to a forest of cherry blossoms. Ninagawa's ability to perfectly harmonise the Eastern and Western theatre traditions into visually spellbinding amalgams is accentuated by the huge butsudan (Buddhist altar) in the stage set, the beautiful scenes of cherry trees in magnificent full bloom, and the witches played by onnagatas (male impersonators) in Kabuki style. Premiered in Tokyo in 1980, the production has toured internationally with critical acclaim and was most recently reproduced in 2015.
     Yukio Ninagawa directed a wide range of highly acclaimed productions including both classic and contemporary Japanese plays, as well as Shakespearean works and Greek tragedies in Japanese. His repertoire included "Medea", "NINAGAWA Macbeth", "Hamlet" and more. He was a member of the Shakespeare Globe Council in London and was honoured with a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire title in 2002. He also received a number of theatre awards in Japan such as the Asahi Performing Arts Awards Grand Prix, the Kinokuniya Theatre Prize and Yomiuri Theatre Awards. In 2010, he was granted a gold medal from the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts, as well as the Order of Culture by the Emperor of Japan.
     The male lead Masachika Ichimura is one of the most accomplished actors in Japan. He has received numerous acting awards including the Grand Prize of the Kazuo Kikuta Drama Awards, the Personal Prize of the Kinokuniya Theatre Prize, and the Best Actor Award of the Yomiuri Theatre Awards. He was also granted the Medal with Purple Ribbon by the Japanese Government for his distinctive contribution to cultural industry. He also played the role of Tokugawa Ieyasu in "Anjin: The Shogun and the English Samurai" directed by Gregory Doran, the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
     The female lead Yuko Tanaka has received the award of best actress in various movie festivals and award programmes including the Asia-Pacific Film Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival, the Japanese Professional Movie Awards and the Yokohama Film Festival. In 2003, she was invited to play the roles of Thaisa and Marina in "Pericles" directed by Yukio Ninagawa at the British National Theatre in London.
     Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department as one of the events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, "NINAGAWA Macbeth" by Ninagawa Company from Japan will be staged at 7.30pm on June 23 and 24 (Friday and Saturday) and at 2.30pm on June 25 (Sunday) at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The production will be performed in Japanese with Chinese and English surtitles. Tickets priced at $160, $280, $380, $480 and $580 are now available at URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk). For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999.
     For programme enquiries and concessionary schemes, please call 2268 7325 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/theatre/programs_162.html.
Ends/Thursday, February 23, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:52
Today's Press Releases  


"NINAGAWA Macbeth" by the late Japanese renowned theatre director Yukio Ninagawa will be staged from June 23 to 25 (Friday to Sunday) at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. This is one of the events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.