The Sake (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

Black Grace

Multimedia circus take on Japan’s national drink, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A weird one, this, but not without a certain off-kilter appeal. Produced by the ‘entertainment brand’ DEN, this wacky-tacky cross between quasi-ceremonial cultural celebration and flashy multimedia circus spectacle is all in honour of Japan’s national drink.

Our host, nicknamed Toji, is a reasonably droll stand-up who delivers most of his jokey English text while seated. There’s a smattering of fairly pretty back projection, mainly relating to the impact of the four seasons on the maturation process of rice. The latter is embodied by a human kernel (female) who initially occupies a nifty rotating harness. This lithe and symbolic figure is, by turns, polished, steamed and fermented.

Among the show’s other participants are a couple of acrobats and an illusionist (all so-so), as well as a percussionist whose effective beats are supplemented by two towering electric guitar players in colour co-ordinated wigs and rock-star garb. The net effect is both ambitious and junky. Still, I can’t say I minded it – and although I’ve yet to act upon it, The Sake did arouse in me a desire to renew my acquaintance with that titular liquor.

New Town Theatre, 220 0143, until 24 Aug, 8.30pm, £12 (£10).

The Sake

  • 3 stars

DEN Entertainment Japanese Dance and Multimedia. DEN invites you to beautiful visionary world of Sake through aerial acrobatics, comic storytelling and Japanese dance, coloured by world beating projection mapping and 3D sound. Featuring up-and-coming artists with diverse backgrounds and skills, DEN will guide you to the…