The 80-odd shows Issey Ogata performs a year sell out in 20 minutes of being announced. And they get their moneys worth. Issey doesn't just perform a one-man show, or simply do stand-up. In a series of short scenes he fills the stage with a crowd of tragi-comic characters from all walks of modern Japanese life, from the meek businessman desperately trying to rid himself of the dead crow he is carrying around in a shopping bag, to a man obsessed with recording his life on his video camera, and a teacher attempting to explain away a scandalous encounter with one of his students on a field trip. Throughout, all Ogata's characters are tinged with compassion and even a note of tragedy which offsets the high, often slapstick, comedy of his performance. Issey Ogata is quite simply, a phenomenon who has to be seen to be believed, the UK audiences will be able to enjoy his talent to the full with a live simultaneous translation. 2001 offers an entirely new selection of comic vignettes, including middle-aged bargain hunters who treat shopping as a sport, waiting in the overnight queue for an electrical goods sale, entertaining each other with tall tales of past bargains and a deputy section manager, overwhelmed by the responsibility of entertaining business clients, slowly losing his memory, and maybe his mind, in a parking lot at midnight. As ever, Issey hilariously and touchingly reveals the vulnerable side of the Land of the Rising Sun, with the simplest of theatrical devices - a swift costume change and amazingly versatile hair - combined with a precise and skilful, and apparently effortless, characterisation. Issey Ogata - A Catalogue of City Life website
.Performers Issey Ogata, Dan Schlesigner (simultaneous translation).
Producer Mark Goucher (for Condensed Theatre Ltd). Author Issey Ogata. Author Yuzo Morita. Director Yuzo Morita.