The New National Theatre is a place that puts absolute faith in dramaURAI Kenji Actor
- Hello everyone. I’m URAI Kenji. Many congratulations to the New National Theatre, Tokyo, on your 20th anniversary!
- 【First encounter with the NNTT】
- The auditions for “Henry VI” were held at the NNTT rehearsal rooms, where I had to pick my favourite scene and deliver a speech in front of the Director, UYAMA Hitoshi. Even in the corridor on the way there, I remember feeling the history of so many actors who had walked along it over the years, and feeling that this was a sacred place.
- 【NNTT debut in “Henry VI”】
- I was surrounded by theatre heavyweights and established actors who were at the top of Japanese theatre scene. That made me wonder whether I should really be here at all, and whether I was good enough to play the role. Yet in spite of all those worries, I just had to throw myself into it. And it seems that as I did so, the seasoned actors and producers saw a link between myself and Henry VI who seems to rise out of nowhere in the midst of a maelstrom, and said “You’re perfect for the role”. The fact that so many people encouraged me this way, I thought “Ah, so this is how a play comes together (being supported by other people in the company)”. It was such a good experience for me.
- 【Shakespeare’s History Plays at the NNTT】
- I think it’s almost a miracle that I’ve been able to take part in this long-running series. Though there are times when I feel almost overwhelmed by the responsibility and pressure, I feel the precious time I spend with other actors in these productions are the flesh and blood which make me develop as an actor. This season, I’m working hard to be a proper “king” – Henry V, that is – by using everything I’ve accumulated until now.
- 【Thoughts on the NNTT】
- The New National Theatre gives a great sense of freedom and openness. We can see blue skies from the communal space of the rehearsal floor, which is shared by people from all forms of performing arts, be it ballet, opera or drama. I see it as a place that puts absolute faith in drama and all performing art forms at all times. I really think it’s legendary.