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«Hiroshima Girl Afraid of Thunder»

Hiroshima Girl Afraid of Thunder

Performance based on the play by Hisashi Inoue «Living with My Father»

Translation from Japanese:  Julia Kuzmenko

Director and scenographer: Bohdan Polishchuk

Sound designer: Yana Shliabanska


Dmytro Levenko / Svitlana Zmieieva

Video projection: Olena Polishchuk


Mitsue: Svitlana Oleksiiuk

Takezo: Maksym Kushchov

Spirit of Hiroshima (flute):

Anna Seriohina / Sofiia Mikus

Administrative team:

Project manager: Maryna Boichuk

Project PR manager: Liliia Voloshyna

The premiere took place on 25.IX.2022 on the stage of the NTAC named after Les Kurbas.

Theatrical performance created in partnership with the NGO “Gallery of Scenography” (Lviv) and the National Theater Art Center named after Les Kurbas (Kyiv) with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation

In March 2022, tour performances were held at the State Youth Theater (Jaunimo teatras), Vilnius  (Lithuania)

Our performance is a light, though the sad story about the girl Mitsue who miraculously survived the bombing of Hiroshima. You will learn how love can save a person from the deepest abyss and the darkest gloom. If your heart is burning from loss, pain, and anxiety, “Hiroshima Girl is Afraid of Thunder” will bring you a ray of warmth during this difficult time.

The performance is based on the play by the famous Japanese playwright Hisashi Inoue. Rare for the Ukrainian scene Japanese drama combined with the visual “theatre of the artist” by the director and stage designer Bohdan Polishchuk will immerse you in the world of sophisticated simplicity. Dramatic action without shouting, with attention to the smallest actors’ movement, in a chamber space – this theatre will make your evening special. It is also worth mentioning that the music is performed live during the show and is created particularly for the project by Yana Shliabanska, one of the most interesting sound designers in Ukraine.

“Last year, on these very days, artistic and theatrical Kyiv was enthusiastically discussing Bohdan Polishchuk’s project Vertep. A Neo-Baroque Mystery”.

This year, the luxurious mystery has actually turned into a minimalist parable with a pronounced psychological and therapeutic effect.

The theater community is going through this war, painfully searching for the right tone, rhythm, genre, and text. Some are looking for classics, others for the verbatim method, modern docudrama. Sometimes from the wheels (basements) in a live way, sometimes after having already managed to rethink and transform their tragic experience.

Director and scenographer Bohdan Polishchuk & Co. reflected on the war with the play A Girl from Hiroshima Who Is Frightened by Thunder, based on the play by Japanese playwright Inoue Hisashi, Life with Father, or Rainbows over Hiroshima (translated by Yulia Kuzmenko).

The intentionally original material is Polischuk’s specialty. It is interesting that the idea arose two years ago, and it has been realized with a relevant sound today. Too relevant, given the plot, which revolves around the nuclear bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Despite the topic, issues, allusions, and even the use of real television newsreels, this is a subtle, not speculative, and very restrained production. Delicacy, deliberate temporal and rhythmic slowness, noise, sound and music (the Spirit of Hiroshima – Anna Seriogina, flute), light and color scores, sparing acting (sometimes too much), as if emotions were deliberately withheld, and a clearly carefully chosen tone made it possible to evaluate the performance in the aesthetic plane. As a complete work of art, not as an instant performative reaction to bleeding events.

“The Girl from Hiroshima” turned out to be a kind of theatrical reproduction of the Japanese aesthetics of sumi-e (ink + drawing), which focuses the viewer’s attention on the main thing and creates an expressive image that, through monochrome, allows colors to appear more vividly. Actually, as well as emotions. After the performance.”

Olga Stelmashevska about the play

Video from the performance

Photo from the performance

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