Satoko Ichihara / Q
Favonia’s Fruitless Fable / The Question of Faeries
A double bill of major plays by a playwright who examines contemporary city life
This is a double bill of two of Satoko Ichihara’s major plays: Favonia’s Fruitless Fable, which was shortlisted for the 61st Kishida Kunio Drama Award and was Ichihara’s first work to be performed overseas, and The Question of Faeries, which deals with the shocking massacre at a Japanese care home for the disabled in 2016. Director and playwright Ichihara has recently turned her hand to writing novels and continues to expand her activities and ambitions. The majority of her plays take the form of monologues that brim with animalistic desires and sexual metaphors—a raw touch that at times stirs a physiological aversion in the audience.
In Favonia’s Fruitless Fable, a female office worker who wants genuine leather shoes instead of fake leather ones encounters a series of strange characters wandering around an alley. In The Question of Faeries, the three parts each related in a different style (rakugo storytelling, music, and a seminar) are performed almost like a monodrama by the France-based actor Kyoko Takenaka.
Ichihara is tenacious in her examination of the contemporary human condition, whereby we live our lives in the city buffeted by consumption and our psychological complexes stimulated by the torrent of information. Through the energetic bodies of the actors, her potent gaze drags onstage the social frictions we deal with on an everyday basis, highlighting what is often relegated to invisible areas of life.
- Auditorium, Kyoto Art Center
- Favonia’s Fruitless Fable 85min.
The Question of Faeries 110min.
- Tokyo, Japan
Playwright, director, and novelist Satoko Ichihara was born in 1988 and studied theater at J. F. Oberlin University. She launched Q in 2011. She uses monologue to relate from a female perspective the vitality of humanity that shines in a world of confusion as well as the absurdity of life. Stressing the physicality of actors, her work is characterized by its emphasis on linguistic expression and rhythm. Her plays capture and reconstruct human actions as if observing animals, seeming to directly shower the audience in the vigor and power of life. In 2011, her play Insects won the 11th AAF Playwriting Prize. In 2016, she published her novel Insects in the literary journal Subaru. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the 61st Kishida Kunio Drama Award for Favonia’s Fruitless Fable. It was subsequently performed at the Seoul Marginal Theatre Festival. She is a Junior Fellow of The Saison Foundation.
|Written and directed by||Satoko Ichihara|
|Set design||Tomomi Nakamura|
|Music Composer||Masashi Nukata (Tokyo Shiokoji / Nuthmique)|
|Stage manager||Chinatsu Iwaya|
|Company manager||Yoshiki Masuda|
|[Favonia’s Fruitless Fable]|
|Performers||Kimio Taketani, Yurie Nagayama|
|Lighting design||Ryoya Fudetani|
|[The Question of Faeries]|
|Performers||Kyoko Takenaka, Takako Yamamura, Mayo Hyodo|
|Piano player||Ryo Sugimoto|
|Supported by||Japan Arts Fund (Favonia’s Fruitless Fable), The Saison Foundation|
|Presented by||Q (Favonia’s Fruitless Fable), Kyoto Experiment|