Sunday, 1 March 2015

Flower, Bird, Wind, Moon. Oran Mor, Feb 2015. Theatre review

Flower, Bird, Wind, Moon. Oran Mor, Feb 2015. Theatre review


With changing my rota at work I no longer get the chance so often to take in Oran Mor's lunchtime A Play , A Pie and A Pint but I was lucky enough to see this week's offering. "Flower, Bird, Wind, Moon" by Paddy Cunneen is named after a Japanese saying (花鳥風月).  This four-character aphorism means something like "look at nature and learn about yourself". 

In the short play Billy Mack plays an English teacher with a love of Noh plays, who leaves his life behind after struggling with the death of his wife. For a few weeks he lives out a fantasy of studying Noh theatre in Japan for a few weeks. He plays opposite the fantastic Tomoko Komura, who acts as pretty much all of Japan, from a bullet train ticket inspector to an optometrist and the three distinct Noh teachers ("sensei"). She also plays Josei, a Japanese woman he meets who has a love of Noh theatre and her own sorrows. 

The storyline is a bit predictable but they both play it with great warmth and humour and Tomoko Komura's turns make you wish she had a less subsidiary role in the story. 

As the programme notes mention that the writer took parts of this story from his own experiences studying Noh in Kyoto I think I feel a wee bit sorry for his poor teachers over there.  

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