11 – 30 August (not 16 or 23)
In a gloriously chaotic mashup of popular Japanese myth and culture, A-LIGHT return to Edinburgh with Death Of A Samurai – probably one of the most visually striking and high-octane hours of physical theatre at the Fringe.
Taking Shakespeare as a starting point, the company end up several thousand light years away from their source, after having added manga, videogame, martial arts movies and Japanese myth to the mix.
Death of a Samurai tells the tale of Kinoko, a girl with a precious magical ability who lives in the forest with her werewolf guardian Yosaku. As the action unfolds at frenetic pace, Kinoko’s friends struggle to protect her from a series of enemies seeking her special gift – foremost amongst these is Kirihito, the samurai warrior, who snatches her from the forest and spirits her away.
Choreography here is excellent: the fast-paced fight scenes look as though they have been lifted straight out a Street Fighter game; whilst some of the slower moments have all the otherworldly beauty of a Miyazaki animation. Costumes and makeup are superb, and all add up to a vibrant, charmingly crazy and compelling whole.
It is to the company’s credit that much of the production is performed in their native tongue – yet still the action unfolds at such a pace and the scenes depicted onstage are so striking to behold that any language barrier is smashed through by Death of a Samurai’s flashing blades and flying fists.
Ticket information is available on the Fringe website
Review by Keith D