After a two-week run playing to full houses and widespread acclaim in December, "Skellig" is back. Based on British novelist David Almond's book, which won the author the Whitbread and the Carnegie children's book prizes in 1998, "Skellig" is a play that tells the story of the hero Michael (Konousuke Toukai), a lonely boy who meets a mysterious creature he calls "Skellig" (Kaiji Moriyama) in a musty old shed at his new home.
|Kaiji Moriyama (center) in "Skellig"
When they meet, shabby-looking Skellig, who has tiny wings on its back but utters only sounds, not words, appears to have a fatal weakness and is barely able to move. Intrigued and increasingly caring, Michael and his neighbor friend Mina (Saya Hozumi) start to look after Skellig in earnest. It's not long before wonderful things start to happen in their lives.
Performed in Japanese with an all-Japanese cast, especially outstanding is the remarkable young contemporary dancer Moriyama, whose expressive representation of Skellig brings great sensitivity as well as a powerful supernatural dimension to the strange fantasy creature we first encounter rising up with fragile solemnity from the dark corner of the empty shed.
"Skellig" runs March 14-19 (March 14, 16-17, 7 p.m.; March 15, 17, 2 p.m.; March 18, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; March 19, midday) at the Sphere Mex, 2-2-8 Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, a 3-minute walk from Tennoz Isle Station on the Rinkai or Tokyo Monorail lines. Tickets are 6,500 yen. For more details, call Art Sphere at (03) 5460-999. It then tours to the Kita-Kyushu Performing Arts Center, 1-1-11 Muromachi, Kokura-kita-ku, Kita-Kyushu City, on March 21 (2 p.m.). Tickets are 3,500 yen. Call (093) 562-2655 for details.
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