Samuel Beckett’s absurdist classic “Waiting for Godot” — voted the “most significant English-language play of the 20th century” in a 1990 poll by the National Theatre in London — is a firm favourite with Japanese audiences. Now, in this version set in Japan and titled “Daikon (Radish) – Singular Godot,” playwright Akito Inui introduces us to Man 1 (who seems similar to Beckett’s character Vladimir) and Man 2 (Estragon) who are waiting for a mysterious person named Hemoroge-san (Godot). As they wait, they encounter some peculiar figures including Daikon-san (Pozzo), a pickled-radish maker, his servants a bird-man and horse-man (Lucky), and an obsessed hunter named Tsuruo.
Although it’s based on Beckett’s play premiered in 1953, this superb adaptation infuses it with Japanese culture as it wonderfully explores the nature of Japanese people. With its live music played on specially made, original instruments, and its fast-moving action, this great piece of theatrical entertainment by the prestigious Ryuzanji company opens March 15 at the Suzunari Theater in Shimokitazawa.
Actors rehearse a new play by Akito Inui “Daikon – Singular Godot”