So what have I been up to since my return? First, spoken word. The Good Heavens Wednesday night stand up comedy show is getting huge - it's been almost impossible to get a seat at the shows, so get there early if you want one. Having now performed there twice, I rather insanely decided to branch out last week and perform a comedy/funny story set at the monthly Japanese language stand up comedy show Okomedyaki, run by the same organiser. The audience were mostly Japanese and the performers mostly non-Japanese people who could speak Japanese much better than me... but still, I was proud that despite my language challenges, I managed to elicit some laughs - and even a gasp - in the right places! I think that's essentially a victory. We will gloss over the fact that I couldn't understand the other performers. It was a fun event with a good atmosphere.
Film and music bizarrely need to go in the same category this week because I went to see Harry Potter with the music track removed from the film and instead it was beautifully provided by a massive live orchestra at Tokyo International Forum. An absolute delight - and despite the hefty cost, totally sold out. I can also vouch for the ice cream at the interval... Keep an eye on the Tokyo International Forum calendar - they seem to do a few events like this, in between conferences about continence... In October they have Anne of Green Gables music, whatever that may be, and Tim Burton music. Interesting.
The best art I enjoyed was at Shibuya's Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art. I'd wanted to catch the cool interactive TeamLab digital planets show down in Odaiba but I heard the lines were four hours long on closing weekend, so instead I went to the Illusion of Light and Shadow exhibition at the Sompo and waited 7 minutes. I won't go on about it as the exhibition is now over, but the interactive exhibits using different technologies to enable us to interact with the art was beautiful and fun and charming despite the crowds. But you know, if you want to see some of TeamLab's work, might be worth checking out the fab-sounding current show about the universe at the Mori.
Theatre was delivered this week courtesy of London's National Theatre who were kind enough to deliver a screening of the play Frankenstein at Le Cinema at Bunkamura, Shibuya. I thought it was outstanding. Quick: Friday's the last night for this high quality London theatre!
Brit About Town Picks of the Week
There isn't a massive ton of cool events on this week in Tokyo, but I've gone vigorously digging... so let's see... Aha, loads of cool events after all. Hooray. See you there?
Fri 2 Sept - Tonight is the Apocrypha storytelling night. For those who know storytelling, think a combination of The Moth and RISK! For those who have no idea what these things are, it's essentially true stories told live and it's at Bar Gari Gari. To make it all even more cool, your very own Brit About Town and Perfect Liars Club MC Layla is performing a story about the first time I came to Japan, aged nineteen. Alternatively, go see the filmed play of Frankenstein from London's National Theatre screening at Bunkamura starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Top quality West End theatre from the comfort of Shibuya!
Sat 3 Sept - Those of you who like jazz will no doubt be busy at the Tokyo Jazz Festival this weekend. But for those of you who like interesting TED talks, the misleadingly named TEDxRoppongi is on Saturday afternoon in Yokohama. Intriguingly it's also billed as the first ever TEDx event to be presented on holographic screen technology. All talks in English with live Japanese translation.
Sun 4 - Tue 6th Sept - There's nothing much on that I can spot, so let's go to the movies. I recommend Race - a film about the life of Jesse Owens, the African American runner who competed at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It's screening around town in English (I saw it at the Hibiya Chanter) and it's interesting and complex and compelling and worth seeing. See where it's on. Also, if you missed them recently, Ginrei Hall cinema in Kagurazaka has an amazing double bill of The Danish Girl and Carol til 9th September. Or why not go to that fab-sounding universe-themed art show at the Mori Art Museum. Looks like it's open til 10pm except on Tuesdays - I bet there's a great view from there at night too!
Wed 7 Sept - The weekly stand up comedy show at Good Heavens in Shimokitazawa is on and should be fun - and very popular as ever.
Thu 8 Sept - Tonight only, there's a fabulous-sounding short film event called London Calling, a screening of short films from London and Tokyo (the same set of films is being screened the previous night in London!) also hosted by Good Heavens in Shimokitazawa. It's run by Shorts on Tap, a London-based short film platform screening films in bars.
Fri 9 Sept - First and most importantly, at 1pm the first ever tickets go on sale for the grand and amazing launch of Perfect Liars Club Tokyo. Get them here. Once you've done that, what to do this evening? Well there are apparently almost no tickets left for Tokyo International Players' one-night-only Avenue Q Concert Fundraiser. So get your tickets asap! If not, it's disco night at the Night Aquarium in Nihonbashi.
Have a great week!
Know of an event I should mention? Let me know.
Want to tell a crazy story at Perfect Liars Club? Let me know.