Spirit of the Samurai
Swordplay blunted by repetition
This article is from 2008.
This display of Samurai skill comes with a weighty pedigree: company director Tetsuro Shimaguchi not only appeared in Kill Bill 1, but choreographed the sword fighting scenes. He's working with hugely skilled performers here, and they know their target market, too: the short scenes play out stories of chivalry, honour and all-out attack, lit, soundtracked and packaged to appeal to the Tarantino-literate, Manga-collecting computer game geek demographic. There's riotously enthusiastic audience participation, a comedy number done to the 188.8.131.52's 'Woo Hoo' song, and dramatic shafts of light beaming down on solitary, ponytailed warriors.
The trouble is, though, that after the initial, hugely impressive skirl of glinting swords and punch-perfect choreography, the company don't have many more tricks up their sleeves. The pace of the show takes a fatal hit during the fan and parasol dance sequences, and the repeated grunting and fighting fails to thrill towards the end.
Zoo Southside, 662 6892, until 24 Aug, 10.30pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).