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International Student Drama Festival: Tainai review at Hallam Hall Sheffield Hallam University

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Here is a study of survival and what it takes to remain human. The respected Japanese writer Juro Myosho wrote Tainai, which means ‘in the womb’, just four years after the Second World War but in this production there are parallels with recent catastrophic events in Japan. A chilling soundtrack has the earth occasionally crumbling and roaring and the play moves along in minimal light.

Yudai plays a former soldier who has been abandoned by his family and is now sheltering in a cave. Lovers, who are played by Satosho Ima and Akiko Enji, discover him when they are at the cave for a clandestine meeting. There is anger, violent reaction and much exhaustive reflection. The soldier embarks on a lengthy tirade against his circumstances, which is the heart of the play.

Tainai is a finely balanced and emotionally draining drama. Anyone put off by the thought of reading subtitles is missing a special experience.

Production Information

Hallam Hall, Sheffield Hallam University, June 24-26

Juro Myosho
Nozomi Matsumori
Bokutachi Watashitachi New National Theatre
Yudai, Akiko Enji, Satoshi Imai
Running time
2hrs 30 mins

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