Written by Tom Fryer and Kyoko.
The first time I heard of Tetsuwari Albatrossket was a few months ago, when someone gave me their flyer and insisted: Make sure you go to this one!
From the look of the flyer they seemed to be a quirky mixture of experimental theatre and traditional comedy, combining punk sensibilities and food (!). Whatever they were supposed to be, I wanted to see more!
The group name “Tetsuwari Albatrossket” is influenced by a circus performing food entertainer named Kumazou Tetsuwari from the Edo period (a long, long time ago), which still leaves the question: So…what do they actually do? The answer: light speed rock ‘n’ roll, flying Yakuza and Zen meditation….
SuperDeluxe becomes Super Medina
Is this design? Maybe not directly, but it’s truly inspiring trying to follow the genius-close-to-crazy-minds of these performers combining old traditional Japanese elements with some sort of contemporary analysis of today’s society. This is not just crazy Japan, but a highly skilled combination of styles.
For the whole last week in Tokyo, one could experience the full range from their very diversive skits: the Cheech and Chong school of skinny reefer-clutching stoner humour to demented Dada-infused improvisation and well written, lighting-paced dialogues amongst many many more.
Special mention must go to one of Tetsuwari’s founding member B Nakajima (the stony faced one on the flyer). This man has the mind of a comic genius, the timing, gestural ability and chameleon traits that defines the natural clown, and he has been incarnated into the physical form of one of those harassed clerks you see at the desk in the back of large municipal post offices.
A different beast altogether were Baby-Q. A sudden outbreak of abstract bleeping heralded the arrival of two dancers, clad in metallic body suits and adorned with blinking lights, who moved around the length of the stage in a crazed, alert! alert! system meltdown! kind of dance. After an intense and at times painful (attention cyborgs: humanoids front row centre!) sequence a bird-like creature emerged and against the backdrop of robotic flip-flopping entertained the audience by presenting them with hard boiled eggs painted with sad, cracked faces.
Teary Eyed Egg courtesy of Baby-Q and Enigmatic Bird Creature
Cyborg Funk: Baby-Q
Baby-Q’s Higashino: Flesh Puppet
Soundtrack was created live by this guy with Mac
This night wound up with Tetsuwari and Baby-Q collaborating in the final section, including a line up of typical Tokyo-ites who introduced themselves with a little song (Shinjuku Yakuza: “…where has my little finger gone?”).
Dark, and light. A little window onto the fringe of Tokyo, in a basement in the middle of the city itself.
one of the handmade-style Tetsuwari flyers
Flyer of the past event at Littlemore Basement
Check out some of Tetsuwari’s flyer art here or spot their next events in town Tetsuwari Albatrossket Live.
Their future schedule:
Tetsuwari Albatrossket Live
Date: Saturday, December 17th
Tetsuwari Albatrossket Live
Date: Sunday, December 18th