As the Japanese Contingent is going to be based in Loughborough for the Olympic Games, so the East (Midlands) is meeting the East, with the Japanese Shakespeare Connection. ‘Trolius and Cressida’ is to be performed in 2012 by the 1623 Theatre Company in the style of the Japanese Kabuki Theatre, and for its production the company needs Kimono. After a visit to the Japanese Embassy, the associate artist Nathan Masterson said: ‘We are planning to bring elements of Kabuki theatre into our production of Troilus and Cressida in 2012, to intensify the martial elements of the play and to highlight the theme of honour, which is so important to kabuki plays.’
The company were awarded the prestigious London 2012 Inspire Mark for this project, and we have been asked to provide the Kimono, Obis and any other ephemera they might need. These will be exhibited during the Olympic year.
The exhibition titled ‘Kimono and all things Japanese’ and will include garments, accessories and design materials which will be used as inspiration by the theatre design team, or even appear in the production.
The project was launched on Sunday, 24th October, 2010 at Kegworth Community Centre, with an introduction from Ben Spiller, director of the 1623 Theatre Company in the morning and guidance and advice from Kumi Middleton, a Japanese lady from our Region, about Kimono in the afternoon.
The project has progressed with a variety of workshops including Indigo Dyeing, Japanese style Embroidery and How to make a Kimono. The results of these Workshops were on show at
Charnwood Museum, Queens Park, Granby Street, Loughborough, LE11 3DU, in September 2012.