Osaka 1837 is performed entirely in Japanese by the Akagumi theatre company. I knew that before I went, and have seen many shows in the past that haven’t been in English: where the performance itself is evocative and descriptive enough to convey the story without having to understand the words.
Sadly, this is not the case with this play, and although the cast are all excellent and look wonderful in kimonos and period dress, the story is simply not powerful enough and is too dialogue-heavy to translate. A small synopsis in the programme helps a little, and from that you can glean that the plot concerns deep-rooted passion, betrayal and revenge, but sadly all nuance and detail is lost.
Again, I stress this is not a criticism of the company themselves, as their energy and passion were vividly displayed on stage. Though maybe next time they should choose a play which is grander in its visual telling.