Pioneering Agatha Christie musical ‘SUNDAY’ set to wow audiences in Japan

Photo courtesy of Human Design Inc.

Since it was founded in 1987, the Tokyo-based Ongakuza company has operated as a team to create and stage original musicals by sharing all the members’ ideas and crediting everything, including the scripts, direction and choreography, to what it calls the Wormhole Project.

Although its productions are primarily based on Japanese novels, manga comics and its own original stories, Ongakuza has also adapted foreign novels such as Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince,” which it staged in Japanese with the title “Little Prince”.
Similarly, its current production, “SUNDAY”, is based on the famed English crime writer Agatha Christie’s 1944 novel “Absent in the Spring”, which was published under her pen name Mary Westmacott.

When it had its world premiere in Tokyo in 2018, “SUNDAY” was the first-ever musical based on that work — and with its storyline about its middle-aged heroine who gets stranded between trains while returning from a visit to her daughter in Iraq and looks back over her life and her family before arriving at some uncomfortable truths about herself, it’s hardly surprising that it was an immediate hit with audiences and critics alike.

Based on that success, plans for London performances were soon being made. But then came Covid.
“We translated the script into English and sent it to the Agatha Christie Foundation and they liked it so much and invited us to London. However, we were not able to meet the contact person because of Covid restrictions, and that was so unfortunate,” the chief producer, Seiko Ishikawa, explained while insisting that that is now the company’s next target.
However, before the world gets a chance to witness this great human-interest musical, audiences in Tokyo, Nagoya and Hiroshima will all have a chance to enjoy it.

And to make things even better, as a special guest actor the Japan cast includes the popular singer, actor and founder of the rock band MSTK, Masataka Fujishige, who will join the Ongakuza team this time.

“SUNDAY” runs at Sogetsu Hall in Tokyo from June 13-17; Nittera Japan Specialty Ceramic Industry Civic Center in Nagoya on July 10; and JMS Aster Plaza in Hiroshima on July 17 and 28. For more details, visit

Photo courtesy of Human Design Inc.