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Lady Macbeth

A world-renowned  expert from the University Of Birmingham is taking part in a special symposium on the internationally-acclaimed Japanese theatre director Yukio Ninagawa, with a focus on his unique Shakespeare productions.

The invitation-only event will feature Shakespearean scholar Professor Michael Dobson, Director of the University's Shakespeare Institute, one of UK’s leading theatre critics Michael Billington, theatre director Phillip Breen, who has collaborated with Ninagawa , and Rosalind Fielding, an up-and-coming scholar working on Shakespeare in Japan. 

Panellists will consider how Ningawa’s productions, which are staged with Japanese cultural interpretations, affected the UK theatre world and re-examine his achievements from a variety of perspectives. Macbeth by the Ninagawa Company will be staged at the Barbican Centre from October 5 to 8.

The symposium coincides with these performances, which will be presented by the Barbican in association with Thelma Holt, Saitama Arts Foundation and HoriPro, Inc.  and co-produced by the Japan Foundation.

Following this, Kyozo Nakamura, a kabuki onnagata actor who will play one of the witches in the Barbican production of NINAGAWA Macbeth, will speak from his experience performing on stage. He will discuss various topics, including the application of traditional Japanese theatre techniques in performing Shakespeare, the legacy of Ninagawa’s body of work, and the relationship between Japanese classical theatre and Shakespeare. Ryuichi Kodama, director of the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum and professor at Waseda University, will serve as the interviewer.

Waseda University has a long tradition of research in the humanities rooted in Shakespearean research by Dr. Shoyo Tsubouchi, a Waseda professor who was the first to translate the complete works of Shakespeare into Japanese. Furthermore, Waseda and the University of Birmingham’s world-renowned Shakespeare Institute signed a memorandum of understanding in 2016. This agreement will unite the two institutions to collaborate on more in-depth research into the works of William Shakespeare.

Media inquiries from Japan:  Lisa Bobroskie, Public Relations Officer, Waseda University.

Media inquiries from the UK: Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham. +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0) 782 783 2312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

  • Based in Tokyo, Waseda University is one of Japan’s most prestigious private universities with over 700 partner institutions in 86 different countries. It currently hosts over 5,000 international students from 100 countries, which is the highest number in Japan. Waseda offers seven undergraduate and 13 graduate degree programs in English.
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked among the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries. Its Shakespeare Institute is based in Stratford-upon-Avon and is a world-leading centre for research into the life and works of William Shakespeare.