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London Stage Version of Garden of Words Postponed

posted on by Andrew Osmond
Play is postponed indefinitely, but Whole Hog Theatre 'remain beyond excited' about production

Whole Hog Theatre, which was preparing a new stage version of Makoto Shinkai's 2013 film The Garden of Words to run in London in Summer 2020 has made the following announcement.

"Due to the developing Covid-19/ Coronavirus situation, with deep regret, Park Theatre London has announced it has closed operations as of the 17th March: The Garden of Words and all remaining shows are POSTPONED indefinitely. We apologise for the short notice and inconvenience. Ticket holders, please wait for a member of the Park Theatre box office team to be in touch in the coming days or weeks. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

"We are devastated by the news, but remain beyond excited about the production: we can't wait to bring this world premiere stage adaptation based on the anime from renowned director Makoto Shinkai (your name.) to life as soon as the situation allows."

The Garden of Words play is described as "using puppetry, movement and projection art." It is directed by Alexander Rutter and is mounted by the company Whole Hog Theatre. Rutter and Whole Hog Theatre were previously responsible for a stage adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, which ran in both London and Tokyo. A Tokyo presentation of the Garden of Words play is also planned.

The new play is described on the theatre website as follows:

Rainy season. Tokyo. Akizuki is skipping class; Yukino should be at work. When a student and an older woman seeking solace in a Japanese garden meet by chance, their mutual feelings of alienation draw them together. But a truth is about to be uncovered. The friendship that could save them might also ruin them…

Based on the stereotype-defying anime by world-renowned director Makoto Shinkai (your name.), The Garden of Words is a modern Tokyo tale inspired by ancient Man'yōshū poetry. This subtle drama explores invisible disability, loss of human connection in a digital world and challenges us to consider the moral line between platonic and romantic longing.

This female-led project brings Japanese and British creatives and performers together to encourage diverse new audiences to the theatre and challenge stereotypes about Anime and Japan.

This interdisciplinary adaptation delves into Shinkai's visually emotive story using puppetry, movement and projection art. Performed in English with occasional Japanese.


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