Playwright Hideki Noda has done more than most in his efforts to promote Japanese theatre to an international audience: after seeing his plays translated into multiple languages, he collaborated with Irish dramatist Colin Teevan on a pair of English works, The Bee (2006) and The Diver (2008). Both earned strong reviews when they premiered in London, with Noda earning extra kudos for directing and starring in the productions himself. He's now touring both English and Japanese versions of The Bee, which adapts Yasutaka Tsutsui's nightmarish tale of a salaryman who's pushed to the limits after his family are taken hostage. The gender-bending English staging arrives in Tokyo first, with Kathryn Hunter, Glyn Pritchard and Noda reprising their roles from the original production, joined by Marcello Magni. The play, which will be subtitled for the benefit of the locals, is followed in April by a Japanese-language version starring Rie Miyazawa.
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