by Chris MaGee
Hiroshi Abe is definitely a talented actor, you only need to see his performance in Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Still Walking" to know that, but he's also an actor who's starred in some really crappy films (Bubble Fiction, The Last Princess), so crappy that you wonder what he's thinking sometimes. In a move that just screams "I am a serious actor" it's been announced that this fall Abe (above left) will team up with Yukio Ninagawa, one of the most respected theatrical directors in Japan to star in Ninagawa's production of Tom Stoppard's 9-hour epic "The Coast of Utopia." How's that for a career face lift?
Stoppard's theatrical marathon, which is actually split into a trilogy of plays (Voyage/ Shipwreck/ Salvage), explores the "philosophical debates in pre-revolutionary Russia between 1833 and 1866." Sounds like fun... Well, I guess I shouldn't be too sarcastic. After "The Coast of Utopia" premiered in the U.S. it set an impressive record of winning the most Tony Awards ever for a non-musical production.
So if you happen to be in Tokyo between September 12th to October 4th you can see Abe taking center stage in the mammoth production at Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon. My advice though is to hit the bathroom first and pack a sandwich. Thanks to Tokyograph for the detail on this.