“A psychological trip into the underbelly of our desires.”—Tokyo Stages
Here’s a show we promise you won’t soon forget. Japanese director Kuro Tanino, who heads the company Niwa Gekidan Penino, creates phantasmagorical theatrical tableaux with bizarre comic twists. These visually rich and erotically charged dreamscapes presented on a split-level stage were originally built within the cramped confines of the Hakobune (The Ark), a 30-seat venue Tanino constructed in his tiny Tokyo apartment. His focused approach as a theater-maker results in dramas that are just as tightly framed, and whose Freudian underpinnings he brings luridly to the fore. Psychosexual imaginings and sibling rivalries are played out in the open and made complete with interjections of sly humor that will find instant favor with fans of Young Jean Lee or Richard Maxwell.
In Niwa Gekidan Penino’s strange-yet-compelling production The Room Nobody Knows, a student half-heartedly studying for his exams becomes readily distracted by the appearance of two “elves”—hybrid creatures called Pig and Sheep, who enter into his interior world—as well as unnerving events involving his brother in a queasy subterranean lab. Delightfully weird with its outrageous imagery and dark humor, The Room Nobody Knows is a multilayered place you’ll want to see unfold in all its wondrous and warped magnificence.
Performed in Japanese with English surtitles.
Recommended for mature audiences.
The five-city US tour of The Room Nobody Knows is produced and organized by Japan Society, New York, and is supported by B Japan Foundation, through the Performing Arts JAPAN program, Arts Council Tokyo, and The Saison Foundation.