in search of a father
Written by Harold Chapin / Translated by Yoji Aoi
Directed by Yu Murai
Takuro Takasaki / G.K.Masayuki /
Nobuhiko Adachi / Tai Kageyama
Yu Murai and Aoi are, in fact, as far apart in age as a parent and a child. I remember the day they first talked about the idea of staging "Son" and its original work, "Augustus in serch of a father", at the same time, Aoi came home beaming.
"Augustus in serch of a father" was Aoi's last translated work before his death, and he was unable to direct it himself. However, I am sure that Aoi is watching over the production with the feeling of a father, hoping that Mr. Murai, who is like a son to him as a director, will take over the direction.
Makoto Tsuchiya (Company One) , the manager of Yoji Aoi
It's December in London, and an old man is working in his firehouse late at night. Then a man arrives.
The man seems to be being chased, and when the old man talks to him, he tells him that he has been making money in the U.S. by playing racketeering. The old man tells him that his son is also working in the U.S.
The old man answered Augustus when he was asked by the man the name of his son. When the man hears his name, he realizes that the fireman is his own father, whom he has not seen in nine years, but he cannot give his name to his father who believes that the man makes an honest living in the U.S. A policeman comes to catch the wanted man.
Augustus is captured, but as soon as the policeman tries to show the oldman that Augustus as his son, he runs away. He returns secretly and prays to his father from behind a pillar and leaves.
The old man sees Augustus off, wishing him well.
Note by Yu Murai
Built in Asakusa, Tokyo in 1868 (4th year of Bunsei era), the storehouse was registered as a Tangible Cultural Property by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 1998. Having survived the Great Kanto Earthquake and the Tokyo Air Raids, the black and vermillion lacquered floor gives off a sense of tension in the powerful space that conveys the architecture of the Edo period to the present day. This will be the third time the work has been performed there since its premiere in 2017.
The love between parents and children who will never meet anymore is in a "storehouse" that has existed since the Edo period. Those of us who are allowed to witness it are beginning to realize that time does not intervene in love.
What if Augustus, the son, and his father, the night watchman, had been aware of each other all along? What if the nine years of time that separated them had disappeared in an instant?
I am reminded of Yoji Aoi, who told me that there is no modern theatre which is free from the influence of these two works, Waiting for Godot and The Zoo Story.
It seems that the landscape in the memory is always being adapted and staged by the self. In other words, nostalgia may be rephrased as a dialogue between the self in the past and present.
This is a memoir by Augustus in the present.
We are always living in the present.