By Jamie Andrews
A full day at the Embassy and, after 90 minutes sleep, 20 separate group visits, a lecture alongside Sir David Warren, HM Ambassador to Japan, and Prof Dominic Shellard, Vice Chancellor of De Montfort University… and the repetition of the word 1623 approx 1623 times, I finally got to sit down with a glass(es) of white at 22h this evening.
And, some good news, we found out the Guardian had published my diary of Japan thus far.
Too tired to make much sense of today, but something very special about being able to communicate our enthusiasm for all things Shakespeare to such an amazing variety of guests invited to the wonderful British Embassy building by Sir David, our Man in Tokyo; from the Director of the New National Theatre, Tokyo, (who’s doing a Richard III soon); colleagues from Meisei University (who, to be fair, have more F1s than we do); an old friend, Professor Tetsuo Kishi from Kyoto, who’s just translated Harold Pinter’s The Hothouse for the National Theatre here, and whom I last saw In Stratford when he donated his collection of letters from Harold to the British Library; and – looking at my business card booty – any number of Bardophile CEOs/diplomats.
Best of all, no question, the 150 local high school kids who filled the normally hushed Embassy with some hooting and hollering this morning – as well as some very challenging questions. Even better, they had the good manners to laugh at my jokes.
Interesting, especially among the school children, that Sherlock is holding his own against his illustrious forefather – he’s proving quite a draw, and provoking astonishment that a Doctor (as ACD was by training) should have such legible handwriting.
We’re off to Meisei tomorrow to hear more about their own F1 plans, and I’m hoping for some respite from the jet lag in the meantime.
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