The Elephant Vanishes

Thursday night I went into London to see a play adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s The Elephant Vanishes at the Barbican Theatre.
I got the train down to London early, and met up with my friend Bull. We went to high school together, and, having finished Uni at the end of last year, he is travelling the world in search of adventure. At the moment he is working in a “Walkabout” bar in Bromley, but his shifts don’t start till six, so he had time to meet up with me and have a few beers.
It was good to see Bull again. We swapped travel stories. He had been to Spain last month and told me all about that, while I related (most) of my travel tales. He asked me about how everyone is doing back home, and I told him what little I knew. We are both so cut off over here. After a few too many beers we parted ways with promises to catch up in the next couple of months. He left to go to work, I went to the play.
I’ve written about Murakami before (Midori, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and Popcorn, Lord Jim, Extinction) and over the past year of so have read almost all of his work. I can’t describe why I like his stories exactly, but they never fail to touch me, and at heart, I am a person who likes to be moved. The Elephant Vanishes is a collection of short stories by Murakami, and three of them (The Second Bakery Attack, Sleep, and The Elephant Vanishes itself) were adapted into one continuous theatrical performance. The style was very innovative, with movement and action and changing scenes and use of props all flowing together to form a stunning show. The actors were Japanese, and the dialogue was all in Japanese. There were “subtitles” provided on a screen above the stage, but I didn’t bother with them most of the time. There was too much going on in front of me. I got a terrific seat, a centre of the stage, a couple of rows back, and from there the action and drama unfolded in a truly magical way. I love being able to go see performances like this. I actually get the opportunity now, living so close to London, and I really should take advantage of it more.
Anyway so I was on quite a high afterwards. I want to see it again!
I am moving into my new house tomorrow. University starts the week after next. I still have to talk about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (and I will) and also about my house, and my new housemates and all that jazz, but it will have to wait a little while longer. I don’t know when we will get Internet access (or even a phone) set up in our new place. So please be patient.

One thought on “The Elephant Vanishes

  1. You fucker. Wish I could’ve seen that. Sounds like a blast. Have you read any Martin Amis before? Knowing your tastes you should check him out, especially ‘The Rachel Papers’, ‘Time’s Arrow’ and ‘London Fields’. The guy’s an evil genius and I really think you’d like him.
    Good luck with the house – seems we’ve all been moving onward and upward. Lots of stuff’s happened that I’ll update you on in the next email. Cheers.

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