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London Talk About Anime on Stage

posted on by Andrew Osmond
Talk on December 4 between Helen McCarthy and Princess Mononoke stage director Alexandra Rutter

London's Daiwa Foundation Japan House will present a talk about adapting anime, manga and video games for theatre on Tuesday December 4. The event is free but must be booked through the above link. The venue is at 13/14 Cornwall Terrace near Baker Street station (map). The talk will run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by a drinks reception until 8 p.m.

Called "2.5D Theatre: staging Anime, Manga and Video Games in Europe," the conversation will feature Helen McCarthy, co-author of the Anime Encyclopedia, talking to Alexandra Rutter, who was director of a stage version of Princess Mononoke in London and Tokyo. More recently, Rutter was Creative Director on Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Gaiden,a stage play which ran in Tokyo from August to September 2018; it was based on a smartphone RPG, spun off from the Puella Magi Madoka Magica franchise.

The talk is described as follows:

'In Japan, anime, manga and video games generate their own live shows from radio to musicals and the 2.5D theatre brand is ever growing; part of the broad media mix that carries a popular franchise across every potential platform. Fans are as eager to see these performances as to play the game, buy the novelisation or collect the toys. In the West, Japanese franchises have yet to make real inroads on the stage. But looking at the history of Western fandom and the growing interest in East-Asian entertainment, there are signs that the balance is beginning to shift. As anime becomes more accessible and mainstream, its potential in UK theatre becomes exciting. Theatre faces a challenge to become more diverse, accessible and inclusive; by bringing “high” and “low” art together, 2.5D challenges theatre to break barriers, attract a new audience and create opportunities for British East-Asian artists.'

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