Sondheim classic comes to the Menier Chocolate Factory
Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures is revived in London in 2023 in a new co-production with Japan’s Umeda Arts Theatre and the Menier Chocolate Factory. The show will be directed by Matthew White (Top Hat).
Following performances in Tokyo and Osaka in 2023, Pacific Overtures will open at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.
What is Pacific Overtures about?
Taking place in 19th century Japan, the story concerns the culture clash sparked by America’s 1853 mission to open up Japan to the West.
Set in the mid 19th Century, the story centres on the culture clash sparked by America’s 1853 mission to open up Japan to the West.
The arrival of American gun boats to the shores of Japan leads Japan’s isolationist government to hastily stop the Americans from landing. They send two men – Kayama Yasaemon, a lower-class samurai of Uraga, and John Manjiro who was captured for the crime of leaving the country – to lead negotiations. Whilst initially successful, what ensues is a flood of gun boat diplomacy with Western fleets forcing the Japanese to open up to trade. Under the watch of the Reciter, Japan inevitably heads toward the tumultuous era of opening itself to the rest of the world.
Who is in the cast of Pacific Overtures?
The principle cast includes the duel casting of Koji Yamamoto and Yuya Matsushita as the Reciter; Naoto Kaiho and Yusuke Hirose as Kayama Yasaemon; and Eiji Wentz and Toshiki Tateishi as John Manjiro. Also Hikaru Asami will play Shogun／Madam.
Other cast include the Councillor played by Hiroko Kachi, Tamate by Sayaka Watabiki, Fisherman by Kota Someya, Thief by Naruhito Murai, Boy by Akari Taniguchi, Admirals by Keisuke Sugiura, Kan Muto, Yuichi Tamura, Katsuyuki Nakanishi and Hirotaka Terui, Sailor by Hiroki Fujita, and Girl by Hana Inoue.
Further cast to be announced.
Music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim, with a book by John Weidman, and additional material by Hugh Wheeler. This production is directed by Matthew White.
Further creatives to be announced.
Venue InformationMenier Chocolate Factory, 53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU
Nearest Tube or Train: London Bridge (Northern line, Jubilee line)
Nearest Buses: 17, 21, 35, 40, 43, 47, 48, 133, 141, 149, 343, 381, 521