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Artistic Director

Our Theatre has invited Hideki Noda as the first Artistic Director in 2009.

It started with this comment: “The theater is not a place where people hang out!

Although the theater has a 30-year history, 11 years have passed since I got involved as artistic director. Prior to that, the “GEIGEKI (Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre) did not have an artistic director system, and had the character of a “rental hut” that only rented out the public theaters and facilities. I remember an incident when I had just become artistic director. At that time, I was teaching at the university, and I wanted to show the students a play, so I arranged to meet them at the theater atrium (the public area at the theater entrance). None of the students were there, even though I had arrived a little late. Eventually, terrified students began to show up. When I asked, “What’s wrong?” I heard that the guards had come to the place where they had already gathered, and chased them away saying, “This is not a place for people to hang out!” It is said that I laughed beyond my anger. If the square in front of the theater is not a place for people to hang out, then there isn’t a place in the world where you can hang out.

The guard might have meant no offence. He just didn't understand what a "theater" was. At that time, I remember writing somewhere that a real "theatre" must be a theater that is loved by security guards. It can only be regarded as a real theatre when you find a person hanging out there and the guards will say to them, "What did you come to see? ... Oh, that's good." It may sound a sort of rhetoric but I wrote somewhere so.

I think it’s been six or seven years since then. When I was performing in the theater, one of the actresses said, “I was told “Break a leg!” by someone in the long queue for a ticket” I said “you didn’t know him?” and she replied “I didn’t recognize him without his uniform, but he was the regular security guard.” I was very impressed.

I felt that this theater has finally become a real “theatre” through this experience. I have always been convinced that whether a theater is good or bad depends on how many people love and take pride in it. No matter how beautiful it is, whether it’s big or small, it must be a place people can enjoy going to, and just “hanging out”. Now, this theatre is like that. I take pride in it. However, just because it has become such a place, there is no guarantee that it will continue to be so.

With this 30th anniversary, as one of the people closely involved, I would like to devote myself to our theatre to ensure it continues to be a “real theater”.

NODA Hideki
Artistic director, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre


Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Artistic Director HIDEKI NODA
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre
 Artistic Director HIDEKI NODA

Hideki Noda is a playwright, director, and actor, and became the artistic director of Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre as of July 2009. Noda launched his first theatre company, Yume no Yuminsha (Dreaming Bohemian) and he had created many works that have been much acclaimed. After disbanding the company in 1992, he went to study in London. In 1993, he established a theatre production company called NODA・MAP. Since then, he presented major hits in succession, including Kill, Pandora no kane (Pandora's Bell), Oil, Akaoni (Red Demon), THE BEE, THE DIVER, The Character, and South. He has collaborated with the Kabuki actor Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII, and he has adapted Kabuki plays and directed productions such as Tragedy of Togitatsu, and Nezumikozo, in his original versions of the classical Kabuki piece at Kabuki Theatre. Noda is also actively involved in international productions, working with Thai and British actors. He won most of the major drama awards in Japan, and was awarded the 2009 Asahi Prize. He was appointed an Honorary Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in October 2009 and the Medal with Purple Ribbon (for contributions to education and culture) in June 2011. He toured THE BEE English Version around New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo in 1st quarter, 2012 and toured Japanese Version in Tokyo, Osaka, Kitakyushu, Matsumoto, and Shizuoka in 2nd quarter, 2012. His work [egg] has presented at Playhouse in Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre as renewal open program on Sep 5 -Oct 28 2012. Since then, he continues to create his original theater work such as MIWA (2013), GEKIRIN (2016), Footprint Princess (2017), One Green Bottle (2017), In the forest, under cherries in full bloom (2018). His new creation, Q:A Night At The Kabuki will be premiered in October 2019.