Setagaya Public Theatre (SePT) is excited to announce our upcoming production of the long awaited third installment in playwright Wajdi Mouawad’s The Blood of Promises quartet!
Following multi-award-winning performances Scorched (original title:Incendies) and Tideline (Littoral), director Satoshi Kamimura returns to tackle Forests (Forets), the epic culmination of The Blood of Promises.
Setagaya Public Theatre has previously staged productions from cutting edge playwright Wajdi Mouawad’s The Blood of Promises quartet with performances of Scorched (original run in 2014, revived in 2017) and Tideline (staged reading in 2017, full scale performance in 2018). Although these plays grapple with complex issues of religion, war, and history that have no easy solution, they also tell thrilling stories that transcend those themes. They enthrall audiences with stunning dialogue. And, most importantly, they were brought to life at SePT through the exceptional work of their production staff and the incredible performances of their respective casts. Both Scorched and Tideline were met with widespread critical acclaim and became multi-award-winning performances. We have heard from countless theatregoers who are eagerly awaiting the third part of this quartet. Now, three years after SePT’s production of Tideline, we are proud to present Wajdi Mouawad’s Forests.
Satoshi Kamimura returns to direct Forests, taking the helm once again after his direction of Scorched and Tideline lead both productions to receive numerous theatre awards. In order to tackle the challenge of directing the epic Forests, which is considered by some to be the culmination of the entire The Blood of Promises quartet, Kamimura makes full use of his talent for directing elaborate productions that not only depict complex emotions but also provide a rigorous social and political analysis. This production is also the first reunion of the very same team of production staff that created Scorched , and they are ready to once again work together to do top quality work.
The cast features performers whose razor-sharp acting chops were on full display during the previous two The Blood of Promises performances. This includes Kenichi Okamoto, who won the Yomiuri Shimbun Theatre Awards Best Actor Award, Rei Asami, who won the Kazuo Kikuta Theatre Award Grand Prix for her performance in Scorched , and also Momoko Kurita, Yoshiaki Kameda, and Yu Koyanagi. The remaining members of this production’s 11-member cast are talented working actors who have been leading lights in the world of theatre in recent years, Songha, Miori Takimoto, Rei Okamoto, Izumi Matsuoka, Aki Maeda, and Akira Otaka. This production is a grand epic that depicts the fateful lives of people tossed about by the whims of world historical circumstance, presented for audiences in 2021 Japan. Don’t miss your chance to see it!
About this work
Forests playwright Wajdi Mouawad was born in Lebanon and experienced the Lebanese Civil War. After fleeing Lebanon for Canada, he went to France, where he continued his dynamic work as a theatre creator. He has presented numerous works that explore his roots, set against the backdrop of his experience of war. His most well-known work is the quartet The Blood of Promises, which explores the theme of family. Forests, originally created in 2006, is part of that quartet. This work’s ambitious structure spans six generations and two continents as it follows the growth of a young woman as she traces her roots in the aftermath of her mother’s death, telling a tale that closely examines the blood of creation that binds people together. At times, the story moves backward in time from the present day to the fall of the Berlin Wall, to World War II, to World War I, to the Franco-Prussian War, and to Europe soon after the industrial revolution. This play spans two centuries, from daughter to mother, from mother to grandmother, and from that grandmother to her own mother. Forests finds the voices of silenced people crushed by a century of war, and it allows those silenced voices to ring out in the present day.
Immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November, 1989, a woman living in Montreal named Aimée (Momoko Kurita) begins to have epileptic seizures. One day, Aimée speaks of a man named Lucien (Yosiaki Kameda), a French soldier during World War I who she has no reason to know. Aimée is also pregnant, and it turn out that her seizures are apparently the result of a malignant brain tumor. Aimée has no choice but to abort her child if she wants to survive, but instead she resolves to give birth to her daughter, Loup. After the birth Aimée falls into a coma, and she passes away 15 years later.
When Loup (Miori Takimoto) is 20 years old, she is visited by a French paleontologist named Douglas (Songha). Douglas is in possession of a skull from a casualty of World War II that happens to be the same shape as Aimée’s, and this leads Loup to ask her father Baptiste (Kenichi Okamoto) about the truth of her mother’s death. Baptiste tells Loup that Aimée was pregnant with twins, and the male twin had moved from Aimée’s womb into her brain. It seemed as if Loup’s brother had caused Aimée’s brain cancer.
Loup is convinced by Douglas to go visit her grandmother Luce (Rei Asami), who had cut Aimée out of her life and who resides on a cape of the Saint Lawrence River in northern Canada. Loup then learns that Luce’s mother Ludivine (Izumi Matsuoka) was a member of the French resistance during World War II. And so, guided by happenstance, Loup and Douglas travel to France on a journey to discover Loup’s roots…
Cast & Creative
Written by Wajdi Mouawad
Translated by Shintaro Fujii
Directed by Satoshi Kamimura
Songha, Miori Takimoto/
Momoko Kurita, Aki Maeda, Rei Okamoto, Izumi Matsuoka/
Yoshiaki Kameda, Yu Koyanagi, Akira Otaka/
Kenichi Okamoto, Rei Asami
Flyer（Illustration by Mariko Enomoto）
◎= Post-performance talk will be held.※Holders of tickets for the performance may attend.
A childcare service is normally available for performances staged at Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram for which advance tickets are sold.
|Charge:||¥2,200 per child|
|Eligibility:||Children aged over 6 months and up to 9 years of age|
|Applications:||Tel. 03-5432-1526 Setagaya Public Theatre
You may reserve childcare services up to noon of the day 3 days before the desired reservation time, but when the number of children registered reaches capacity, applications will closed. So please make your reservation well in advance. Also, please consult with the theatre regarding children with special needs.
|Subcontractor:||Kids’ Room Tinker bell Sancha|
Both Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram are equipped with wheelchair spaces to allow visitors to watch performances from their wheelchairs. However, as capacity is limited, use of wheelchair spaces is by reservation only.
|Charge:||10% discount on the corresponding area ticket charge (plus up to one attendant free of charge)|
|Applications:||Tel. 03-5432-1515 Theatre Ticket Centre|
Wheelchair spaces may be reserved up to 19:00 on the day before the desired date, but when the number of reservations reaches capacity, applications will be closed. So please make your reservation well in advance.