Gekidan Kaitasha, Bye-Bye: The New Primitive

Review in Issue 13-4 | Winter 2001

The violent images and images of violence that I witnessed, both live and electronically generated, are deeply disturbing. After the performance I remained without words for a long period. That night I revisited the performance in my dreams and when I woke up, I woke with a performance image in my head. In the performance itself, I felt blasted away at times by the ferocity of what I saw. With a war in Afghanistan currently being waged, it was impossible not to make allusion to this and other conflicts: domestic brutality, self-inflicted violence; those between local people on the Japanese island of Okinawa and the Americans situated on the military base there, who have for a number of years committed many atrocities.

However, this work is operating beyond simple representation. Like the performers often were in the play, I was bombarded – my bombs a complex interplay of a multitude of sensations, pains, unhealed wounds and ideas. Although individual levels of performance varied, the performers work as an ensemble with an intensity and rigour that one rarely finds amongst British companies. Their work, again unlike most British companies, has a philosophy in its approach to the body that is integrated with the philosophy underlying the themes. Although no individual stories are clearly defined I was once again overwhelmed by the power of testimony of human experience in the montage of motifs I witnessed. Described by the director in the programme as a ‘theatre of death – human beings’ greatest fear’ – Kaitasha’s performance is ultimately a deeply affirming experience.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-4
p. 25