Premiered in Japan in May 2003, the co-production between the Barbican and Tokyo's Setagaya Public Theatre was first presented in London last June as part of BITE:03 (Barbican International Theatre Event). The production earned Complicite artistic director Simon McBurney an Evening Standard Award nomination for Best Director.
The Elephant Vanishes is based on the collection of short stories by Murakami, one of Japan's leading contemporary novelists whose international bestsellers include Norwegian Wood, Wind Up Bird Chronicle, A Wild Sheep Chase and After the Quake.
The stage version of The Elephant Vanishes is designed by Michael Levine with costumes by Christina Cunningham, lighting by Paul Anderson and sound by Christopher Shutt. It's performed, by seven Japanese actors, in Japanese with English surtitles.
Complicite is a renowned British experimental theatre troupe, founded in 1983 by McBurney with Annabel Arden, Marcello Magni and Fiona Gordon. It operates as an evolving ensemble of performers and collaborators, whose work ranges from entirely devised pieces to adaptations and revivals of classic texts. Its many award-winning productions have included Anything for a Quiet Life, The Visit, The Winter's Tale, The Chairs, The Street of Crocodiles, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Light and Mnemonic.
Complicite is currently represented in London with McBurney’s production of Measure for Measure, now running at the National as part of the Travelex £10 season in the NT Olivier. At a press conference scheduled for this Friday, the company will announce other 21st birthday projects, which are expected to include a residency at north London’s Alexandra Palace (See The Goss, 5 Jul 2004).
- by Terri Paddock