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Friday, Aug. 24, 2007
Lesson in absurd comedy
Named in homage to the Romanian-born Absurdist playwright of the same name, the Eugene Ionesco Theater company will this month make its fourth visit to Japan to present Ionesco's dark comedy "Jugyo (The Lesson)."
The company, which was formed in the 1980s by young Moldovan graduates of the Boris Schukin Theatre Institute in Moscow, rate "Jugyo" (written in 1951) as their favorite Ionesco staging. "Jugyo" is a one-act comedy about a professor who grows increasingly exasperated at teaching an intellectually challenged student.
When the Eugene Ionesco Theater company made its Japan debut more than a decade ago with a staging of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," it was widely hailed, with The Asahi Shimbun picking it as one of the best five plays of the year.
The company has even won the praise of Japan's leading cutting-edge dramatist, Hideki Noda, who says: "I see many rubbish stagings in Japan, but when I saw this company a few years ago, I was so impressed at what they were doing. I wish we Japanese could see lots more of these type of plays in Japan."
"Jugyo" plays in Romanian with Japanese subtitles from Aug. 28 till Sept. 2 (7:30 p.m. on weekdays, 3: 30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 3:30 p.m. on Sundays) at the Theatre Iwato, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. Tickets are ¥3,500-¥4,000 (tel.  5225-3635). It then runs Sept. 4-5 (both 7:30 p.m.) at Sotetsu Honda Theater, Nishi Ward, Yokohama (¥3,500-¥4,000, tel.  319-2150); and Sept. 8 (7 p.m.) at Kirari Fujimi Hall, Fujimi City, Saitama (¥3,000-¥3,500, tel.  268-7788).
For more information, visit eastern-theatre.blogspot.com/