‘Kaikin' will have its premiere end of August 2016 in Kyoto, Japan, and will visit further locations in Kyushu.
Actors from Kyoto, Tokyo and Nagoya will work together on this intercultural project, with themes like belonging, isolation, crossing borders, and of course, love - and the lack of it.
This contemporary play uses a historical meeting as a starting point, but then makes it into a new narration.
The title 'Kaikin' means 'lifting of the ban'. Between the 17th and 19th century, Japan was closed to foreigners, and Japanese citizens weren't allowed to leave Japan. According to the ruling Shoguns at the time, this was done to further peace in a country that used to be wartorn; this ban was lifted in the Meiji Era, which in turn meant the end of the days for Shogun, Daimyo and Samurai.
The only westerners during the time of 'Sakoku' ('closed country') who were allowed to trade with the Japanese were the Dutch, and they were positioned on a small island, Dejima, near Nagasaki. The Japanese authorities kept a close check on them and rules were strict.
When a new head of the Dutch trading company (VOC) arrived on Dejima with his wife, this was seen as a breach of rules, and the wife was sent back. This real-life story (Titia Bergsma's story) has been reworked to show a woman arriving in Japan and trying to persuade the Daimyo to let her stay with her husband.
It's not only her story that develops during the play - the 5 Japanese characters are affected in different ways and some try to use the plight of Eva, the Dutch woman, to further their own causes.
What follows is a journey that takes the audience to witness the realisation of our own life when changes are brought about through the mere presence of a newcomer. It makes us think where we belong, where our loyalties lie, whether we need to change our minds - and who is going to comfort us when we make mistakes. Is it the search for love that drives us through every decision we take or do we need to obey and do as we're told by those 'above' us, who could possible be governed by the search for love as well?
Presently, the world is full of people who need to cross their borders and their boundaries to look for not just love, but a safe life. The fear that comes with encountering the new, the unexpected, the hostile, the warmth, the dreams and the nightmares, will be with these migrants forever - but with a 'global world' most of us move around and expect to find truths and love when we cross borders. How we are received at our point of destination shapes our experience, and those receiving us are equally shaped by their experiences. Where do we belong - and who can hold us back if we want to explore that idea?
'Kaikin' is structured in a loose format, giving space to the telling of a folktale, the introduction of mythical creatures and a thoroughly modern love scene.
'Kaikin' is written and directed by Ellis van Maarseveen, and has been translated into Japanese by Junro Shibata.
Tusk’s next play ‘Kaikin’ is supported by a generous gift of the Royal Netherlands Embassy Tokyo, and will be performed in Kyushu, Japan in Summer 2016.
Kyoto — Kaika Theatre
30th August: Preview performance
31st August: First night
1 - 3 September: Performances
5 - 8th: September
Hirado – Dutch Trading Post
10th and 11th September: Performances
by Robert David MacDonald
by Friedrich Duerrenmatt
by Anton Chekhov (video)
by Ton Theo Smit
by Tineke Endema
サンディー 星野 海
Tusk theatre company was set up in 2005 in The Hague, the Netherlands, by actor and theatre director Ellis Van Maarseveen, and producer Elske Van Holk, who runs STET, Stichting The English Theatre.
The unique character of tusk theatre company is formed through the background of its performers and creators. The enthusiastic members of our company have worked extensively abroad and/or in the Netherlands and trained professionally at institutions around the world.
This truly international company of theatre-makers and performers offers an innovative style of performance, combining theatrical influences from all over the world. Innovative, but always based on good old-fashioned quality, professionalism and hard work.
Due to the fact that we are a small company with limited funding, Tusk theatre casts a new group of professionally trained actors for each play, and we’ve been lucky to work with actors from Great Britain, the Netherlands, South Africa, the US, Canada and Kurdistan.
Tusk Theatre Company was set up by actress Ellis Van Maarseveen, who worked extensively for television and theatre in Great Britain (London and Glasgow), the Netherlands and Belgium. Ellis is a graduate from Maastricht Theatre School, one of the most prolific drama schools in the Netherlands.
After graduating, she worked in the Netherlands and Belgium, and was then offered a part in Escape From Sobibor. After that film, she moved to London, where she was seen in the award-winning performance of Pain of Youth, at the Gate Theatre. This was followed by a stint at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre and television programmes like Inspector Morse, Inspector Wexford and Bugs.
In London, Ellis has also lectured to young actors at the Kensington & Chelsea College, she teaches various theatre workshops, is a drama coach and gives her voice to a range of cartoon characters.
Ellis is presently living and working in Tokyo, Japan where she is giving workshop through NoQuatsch Workshops, and preparing for her new play which will be performed in Japanese soon.