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Yamato: Passion - Peacock Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

NEXT spring, the world-renowned Japanese taiko drumming troupe, Yamato, returns to The Peacock from Tuesday, March 12 to Sunday, March 31, 2019, for an evening of high-energy and thunderous performance with its newest work, Passion.

Led by artistic director Masa Ogawa, the work was created in 2018 and builds a kaleidoscope of sound through an assortment of enormous barrel-like Odaiko drums to cymbals, bamboo flutes and vocals.

Used in Shinto rituals, the Odaiko drums weigh over half a tonne each and are played by the troupe with ferocious and staggering strength to produce a heart-thumping torrent of music. Requiring exceptional skill and physicality, the drummers use their entire bodies to play and engage with audiences to create an explosive spectacle.

This plethora of energy ignited by both the performers and audience, and the drummers’ daily commitment to rigorous training, forms the inspiration for their latest work, Passion.

The members of Yamato are collectively responsible for the creation of musical compositions, theatre production, lighting design, choreography and costume design, including the bachi (sticks) used to play the drums.

Yamato takes the ancient art of taiko drumming to bring it bang up-to-date to audiences far and wide. The group formed in 1993 and have since performed in 54 different countries, with over 3,500 performances, reaching almost eight million people. In 2013, the company founded Yamato Taiko School based in the Netherlands where company members teach up to 20 taiko classes and 200 people a week.

Yamato premieres Passion in Milan in February ahead of its extensive tour which closes at The Peacock in March 2019.

Tickets: £15 – £38. To book, call the box office on 020 7863 8222 or visit peacocktheatre.com/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 2:30pm, Sunday at 2pm and 6pm.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of The Snowman continues at The Peacock until January 6. Also at The Peacock: award-winning Tango Fire (January 29 to February 16) and Cirque Éloize with the UK premiere of Hotel (February 20 to March 9, 2019).