Metal Rotates After Skulls
“Metal Macbeth,” born from Hidenori Inoue’s idea of “Metal matches with Macbeth,” is the first Shakespeare performance created with the collaboration of Gekidan☆Shinkansen and Kankuro Kudo, and is performed in 2006 with live music by rock band. Without changing the world of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” the script is arranged to double structure of 2206’s decayed new future and 1980’s band boom in Japan. Not only the story moving on by going back and forth of near future and past, the collaboration with hard rock and metal music drew a huge attention as an unheard-of Shakespeare story.
After 12 years from the first performance, “Metal Macbeth” will arise again.
3 versions will be performed with Kudo’s rewritten script, different cast, and arranged direction.
Please look forward to “Metal Macbeth” sensation at IHI Stage Around Tokyo.
2218… Wilderness filled with lots of dead bodies, countless garbage and rubbles.
Although many people died from the long shameful war, Fender, Gibson, and the rising new country, ESP was still having a heated battle.
While that, ESP’s invincible general, Random Star who finished a harsh war, was heading to King Les Paul’s “Steel Castle” with his ally, Explorer. Suddenly, 3 mysterious witches appear, call the general “Macbeth” and tell him “You will be the lord of Mahogany and soon be the king,” and hand him a CD saying “What you want to know is all in this compact disc.” That was the debut album of a popular heavy metal band “Metal Macbeth” from the 1980’s. Looking at the photo of the band members, Random Star and others are surprised since vocal Macbeth looks exactly like Random Star, Banquo looks exactly like Explorer, and Macduff looks exactly like Greco of the ESP.
Returned to the country, the lord of Mahogany was punished because it was discovered that he secretly betrayed the army, and decided that Random Star will be the new lord of Mahogany like the witches predicted. Random Star goes back to his own castle and tells his beloved wife that this was predicted by the witches and the memorial party will be held on the next day. Then, she agitates her husband to make the prediction real and take the throne by assassinating King Les Paul on the night of the party.
The next day, a huge party was thrown inviting Random Star’s friends, King Les Paul, and his son Les Paul Jr. During midnight, wife stimulates Random Star who starts to hesitate to go to the king’s bedroom where the king is asleep. The two schemes to make Les Paul Jr. suspicious, however, Greco feels the disquieting situation and lets Les Paul Jr. out from the castle. Husband and wife succeeded to assassinate king and obtain power. However, they are tormented by strong feelings of crime and struggle to sleep.
While in the world of 1980’s… “Metal Macbeth” accomplished its major debut with a talented manager, Rose; however, the boom of heavy metal starts to show indications of decline. Macbeth, who felt irritation, thought to make gossip news by the time the band reaches 5-year-anniversary and commits escapade. The communication between mentally disordered Macbeth and Rose synchronizes with the conversation of Random Star and his wife in 2218, and the two obsessed with dark ambition are off to the road to destruction, involving the faith of those around them.
In November 1980, members consisting mainly of seniors (Shu Kogure, Hidenori Inoue, etc.) at Osaka University of Arts Theatrical Arts Department launched the troupe by playing “The Atami Murder Case” by Kohei Tsuka. The name of the troupe “Shinkansen” was decided upon the reason that the members used a bullet train, known as Shinkansen, to go back home during that time. The troupe became popular as a copying troupe of Tsuka’s work and became the centerpiece of the theater boom among college students in the Kansai region. The genre of the play shifted from the copy of Tsuka’s play to an original entertainment full of comedy, rock, and action. Currently, it is subdivided by series such as Inoue Kabuki and Shinkansen R, and these unique characteristics were established as “Shinkansen-ism.” Gekidan☆Shinkansen is now one of the genres in the entertainment field. The gorgeous cast in every work draws attention of the audience since the troupe is acknowledged as a troupe that the actors want to play in.
And from 2017, the troupe’s masterpiece, “Seven Souls in the Skull Castle”was performed as the opening of Asia’s first 360° rotating theater, IHI Stage Around Tokyo, divided by 5 seasons, “HANA, TORI, KAZE, TSUKI, GOKU.” With different cast and revised script and direction, it was performed for a year and 3 months and recruited 550 thousand audiences.
- (H) ... Holiday
- (N) ... No Performance