Continuing the theatrical theme of my last post, if you’re still looking for a Christmas show with a Japanese twist, I can thoroughly recommend Siro-A at the Leicester Square Theatre. It’s usually billed as ‘Japan’s answer to the Blue Man Group’, which isn’t a lot of help if you don’t know much about the Blue Man Group. So here’s a guide to what you can expect from Siro-A’s ‘technodelic’ show.
Siro-A are a group of six young men who met at school in Sendai. They combine dance, mime and puppetry with technology to create odd, surprising and sometimes very funny effects. It’s a spectacular show that features video projection, light animation and lasers combined with live performance, all delivered to a pounding electro beat. It’s fast, witty and totally crazy.
There’s a bit of audience participation too, but nothing to worry about. They invite people to have their photos taken and then use the photos in the show, so you’re not expected to get up on stage with them. The show lasts for just over an hour, so it’s short enough and action packed enough to keep the attention of kids in the audience.
Since they first appeared in London last year, after winning the Spirit of the Fringe award at the Edinburgh Festival, they’ve become regulars at Hyper Japan where their signature outfits of tall hats that make them look like walking cigarettes are easy to spot.
But it’s the creative way that the performers interact with projections, playing games with balls that aren’t there and dancing with huge rainbow projections, that give the show its special flavour. It’s fun, mind-bending stuff and a great way to get a break from the pressures of Christmas shopping.
Siro-A are at the Leicester Square Theatre until 11th January, with two shows a day, at 4 pm and 7 pm, over the Christmas period. Ticket prices vary depending on the performance, but are generally £15 for adults and £10 for children.
If you want to get a taste of what they’re like, take a look at their YouTube channel.