Joy as Japan’s Kabuki Theatre Reopens after Coronavirus.
After five months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s good to see the BBC reporting that Tokyo’s famous Kabuki-za Theatre has reopened, to the palpable joy of many. The Kabuki-za is the city’s main theatre for performances of Japanese kabuki dance-drama.
Covid-19 exacted a modest toll on the proceedings with venue capacity halved, strict social distancing measures for spectators and a rigorous cleaning regime in place. In addition, the stage held fewer performers who sat further apart and wore masks or visors, while a traditional part of the act where spectators shout out phrases towards the stage was dropped.
Nonetheless, the BBC reports that many people in the city were delighted to see the theatre reopen its doors.
Japanese Kabuki Theatre is the origin of the term ‘kabuki drop’ as a staged theatrical reveal. It’s known for its elaborate costumes, eye-catching make-up, outlandish wigs and the exaggerated actions of the actors. A frequent theme is a sudden, dramatic revelation or transformation, which is where the kabuki drop comes in, often releasing the backcloth to quickly change the scene or reveal an actor.