Victoria Fringe festival is one of the oldest Fringe festivals in Canada and they are back again this year with over 300 performances from all over the world for the next 11 days. It is one of my favourite annual events in Victoria and my husband and I have been looking forward to this year’s too.
I am thrilled that my favourite Japanese troupe is coming back to Victoria Fringe – RakuJuku with Show Ryuzanji.This will be RakuJuku’s first time in Canada.
We saw Hanafuda Denki from Ryuzanji Company last year and LOVED it. I saw it twice, my husband saw it three times. It was something I have never seen before. The year, Mr. Ryuzanji is bringing RakuJuku.
RakuJuku can be loosely translated as “Having Fun Troupe”. It was created by Show Ryuzanji in 1997 who wanted to have fun with “regular” people with a lot of experience in life – people over the age of 45. Now RakuJuku is well known as a pioneer of senior acting troupes, which is quite popular in Japan. The members of RakuJuku believe that watching something joyful makes you happy. I believe so too!
This year, they’re bringing an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to Fringe. The original story is about two shipwrecked twins who get separated upon arrival on a shore. Each has their own adventures including multiple love triangles. The adaptation by Ryuzanji is named “The Twelfth Night in KABUKI Style” and set in old time Japan. Energetic actors with an average age of 61(!) will perform in Japanese with English subtitles. There will be original music and dance in gorgeous kimono costumes. You won’t be bored with this Shakespeare! I’ve been following their Japanese blog and I know they ran this in Tokyo (This is not their first year of this particular production, They’ve done The Twelfth Night few times already and we are getting an improved version.) and been sold out pretty much every day.
Ryuzanji won the Best of Fringe Award in 2000 with Educating Mad Persons and the Pick of the Fringe Award in 2012 with Hanafuda Denki.
The troupe is arriving this weekend. Show starts on August 27th (Venue: Metro Studio) Be prepared to arrive early, as their shows often sell out.