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Electric Japan: Tomoco Kawaguchi

Theatre director Tomoco Kawaguchi shares a taste of her original 4.48 Psychosis: A Contemporary Punk Opera.

Based on English playwright Sarah Kane’s extraordinary work, 4.48 Psychosis, and created with input from Kane expert Dr Nina Kane, this experimental punk-rock-opera features a cast of five: a dancer, an opera singer, an actress and two musicians.

4.48 Psychosis was Kane’s last play, though she died at the age of 28 without ever seeing it performed. Made up of 24 vivid and raw scenes, it was her most fragmented work and one for which she gave no indication of the number of actors required.

Additional Information

Tomoco Kawaguchi studied under playwright and theatre director Makoto Satoh, starting her career as a director in 2008.

In 2003–17, Tomoco and Cheuk Cheung, a film director in Hong Kong, launched a cultural exchange project they named Absolute Airplane, which involved young artists from different backgrounds in Tokyo and Hong Kong, including traditional performing arts.

In 2018, Tomoco presented a pilot version of 4.48 Psychosis: A Contemporary Punk Opera in collaboration with British dramaturg and Sarah Kane expert, Dr Nina Kane. Then in 2019, the year of 20th anniversary of Sarah Kane’s death, they toured a second version of the work internationally prior to the current version being staged at The Coronet Theatre

Kawaguchi is also a part-time Lecturer at Tokyo Gakugei University and Artistic Associate of the Wakabacho Wharf theatre outside Yokohama.