Anjin: The Shogun and The English Samurai impressions

If you haven’t yet decided whether you’d like this play, I can assure you, you will! Anjin: The Shogun and The English Samurai tells the story of an English voyager, William Adams, who arrives in Japan aboard a ship of sickly and half dead Dutch merchants, when he is accused of being a pirate and imprisoned. Tokugawa Ieyasu is daimyo. Before executing this “pirate”, Tokugawa demands to speak to Adams to know where he is from, and whether he is truly a pirate. Tokugawa becomes intrigued by Adams and his travels, and after much conversing and upon judging that he is not a pirate, he forbids Adams to return home. William Adams is ordered to stay by his side as an advisor. Actually, William Adams is no more, he is now Miura Anjin…

The play has everything going for it. A fantastic set, beautiful costumes and great actors. Jealousy, revenge, faithfulness, honour, honesty, God, war and love were all major themes. And interesting ones at that. But what I most enjoyed, and was pleasantly surprised by, was the use of and amount of humour played out within the story. A sarcastic English man and a witty old Japanese man is definitely a good combination. But despite its comic value, we are still reminded that the story is set in times of war and blood shed, and sometimes sacrifices and difficult decisions must be made. And characters we had grown to like may perhaps not make it.

But anyways, I don’t want to give to much away, and all I can say is go see it! One word of advice though, choose your seat wisely if you can. I had a seat all the way at the front, which had its advantages and disadvantages. It was great that I was so close to the stage and could see all the actors perfectly. However, the stage is quite high, which means I couldn’t see when something was occurring at lower level. The other inconvenience were the subtitles. I had a choice between a banner that was right above my head which made it awkward to read,or two small screens either side of the stage. Which meant that when I did not understand and needed to read the subtitles, I could miss out on action occurring on stage 😦 So if you can try not to sit so close to the stage 😉 and enjoy the show!!

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