Harajuku Girls

3
Francis Turnly's play at the Finborough Theatre
By Stephen - 3rd Mar 2015

In Francis Turnly’s play ‘Harajuku Girls’ we are invited to explore the world of Japanese teenage girls, cos-play and image clubs all centred round the Harajuku area of Tokyo. Our guides into this world are three recent school leavers awaiting their results: Mari who dreams of going to Drama School contrary to her father’s expectations, Yumi who will do whatever her father wants and Keiko who wants to have fun and make money at the same time.
 
“We are young, this city belongs to us.” Keiko, may well believe this when she says it, but the clear impression is that in Harajuku, it is the young girls that are being exploited, by sweaty married men who reward their teenage mistresses with presents in a ‘compensated relationship’. Then in the Image Club, where the exploitation becomes corporate but the financial rewards are considerable.
 
Almost every interaction between male and female seems to be a sexually charged power play until we reach the interval when Turnly’s script neatly switches the grim expectations. In the second half there are fewer surprises: The downward spiral and parental discovery are the expected, and delivered scenes. However, the revelation of this production is not the plot but an actor. Here Mari’s father, played by Nomo Gakuji, delivers a stunning performance with such fierce intensity that his unsympathetic, patriarchal and hypocritical character leaves the strongest and deepest impression. Sadly the poor cue-bite and uncertain pauses from other actors in the company give the impression that this production was still stuck in the rehearsal phase on Press Night.
 
Stephen Artus


Latest News & Reviews

15th Feb 24 :: Review: The Drifters Girl
Touring production seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
4
6th Feb 24 :: Review: Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell
Selected dates until 26 February at the Coach and Horses, 29 Greek Street, London W1D 5DH
4
5th Feb 24 :: Review: Macbeth
David Tennant and Cush Jumbo at the Donmar Warehouse
4
20th Jan 24 :: Review: Disney's Aladdin
Touring production seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
4
19th Jan 24 :: Review: Alegria - Cirque du Soleil
The latest production seen at the Royal Albert Hall
3
20th Dec 23 :: Review: Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Pantomime seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth
4
18th Dec 23 :: Review: Sleeping Beauty
Panto at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing.
4
13th Dec 23 :: Review: A Christmas Carol
Guy Masterson's one-man production seen in Boscastle
5
7th Dec 23 :: Review: Oliver Twist
Seen at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol.
5
29th Nov 23 :: Review: 2:22 A Ghost Story
The 2023 tour seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth
5
15th Nov 23 :: Review: Radio GaGa
Seen at the Adelphi Theatre, London.
3
13th Oct 23 :: Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet - Black Sabbath
Touring production seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
5
6th Oct 23 :: Review: Sunset Boulevard
Seen at the Savoy Theatre
3
1st Oct 23 :: Review: Trompe L'Oeil
Seen at The Other Palace Studio
2
29th Sep 23 :: Review: A Little Life
Encore broadcast of the West End production at the Savoy
5
28th Sep 23 :: Review: Frank and Percy
Ian McKellen and Roger Allam seen in London
3
28th Sep 23 :: Review: Vanya
Andrew Scott's one man interpretation of Uncle Vanya
5
27th Sep 23 :: Review: Ailey 2
Touring production seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
5
20th Sep 23 :: Review: The King and I
Touring production seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
4
15th Sep 23 :: Review: Metamorphosis
Touring production seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
5

Most Popular Stories

15th Feb 24 :: Review: The Drifters Girl
Touring production seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
13th Oct 23 :: Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet - Black Sabbath
Touring production seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
6th Feb 24 :: Review: Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell
Selected dates until 26 February at the Coach and Horses, 29 Greek Street, London W1D 5DH
20th Dec 23 :: Review: Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Pantomime seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth
29th Nov 23 :: Review: 2:22 A Ghost Story
The 2023 tour seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth
23rd Aug 23 :: Review: Nicole Travolta is Doing Alright
Seen at Greensides Riddles Court.(EdFringe)
13th Dec 23 :: Review: A Christmas Carol
Guy Masterson's one-man production seen in Boscastle
5th Feb 24 :: Review: Macbeth
David Tennant and Cush Jumbo at the Donmar Warehouse
7th Dec 23 :: Review: Oliver Twist
Seen at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol.
18th Dec 23 :: Review: Sleeping Beauty
Panto at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing.

Listings powered by Dynamic Listing Ltd
Mastodon Multidomain certificate installed
© Dynamic Listing Ltd, UK. 1995-2024