Complicite, whose multi award-winning A Disappearing Number is currently enjoying a second sell-out season at the Barbican Theatre (See News, 1 Apr 2008), will return in the new year with the European premiere of its latest devised work Shun-kin, which will mark its sixth appearance at the Barbican.

As part of the Barbican’s bite09 season, Shun-kin runs from 3 to 21 February 2009 (previews from 30 January). It reunites the collaborators behind Complicite’s The Elephant Vanishes, which was a hit during the bite03 and bite04 seasons.

Conceived and directed by Complicite artistic director Simon McBurney, Shun-kin is inspired by the work of Jun\'ichiro Tanizaki , one of the most important Japanese writers of the 20th century. The piece moves between the neon glow of Japan and the vanished world of Meiji to tell a tale of devotion, passion and power, where “beauty is unforgiving and love is blinding”.

The style of Shun-kin emerges from traditional Japanese culture. It is performed - by an entirely Japanese cast including film actress Eri Fukatsu - in Japanese with English surtitles and is recommended for those aged 14+. The play premiered in February 2008 in Tokyo and is co-produced by Complicite, Setagaya Public Theatre, Tokyo and barbicanbite09.

A Disappearing Number - inspired by the collaboration between 20th-century mathematicians Scrinivasa Ramanujan, a poor Brahmin from southern India, and Cambridge don GH Hardy – won a hat trick of Best Play prizes at the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards after its September 2007 run at the Barbican. It has now returned for three weeks from 10 October to 1 November 2008.

- by Terri Paddock