AN ENGLISH-LANGUAGE NOH
WED 4 - FRI 6 SEPTEMBER
On 4 June 1913, the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison secured her place in history: she ran onto the racetrack at the Epsom Derby in support of votes for women, but was struck down by the King’s horse. This shocking moment was caught on film, and British political history was changed forever when she died four days later.
But what happened to the jockey that killed her?
Emily is an English-language piece written in the stately form of Japanese Noh theatre, a beguiling combination of mask, dance and chant. It focuses on this well-known episode of British political history from the perspective of Herbert Jones, the Jockey that killed Emily, and who himself committed suicide in 1951.
For three nights only, professional Noh actors and musicians from Japan work with members of the international company Theatre Nohgaku to offer a unique cross-cultural take on one of the most significant events in women’s political history, further marking the recent centenary of women obtaining the vote.
The master Noh actor Akira Matsui will also perform an excerpt from Atsumori in Japanese. This piece explores memory, history, and feelings of remorse for the killing of others, illustrating how Emily is closely aligned with the traditional Noh repertoire.
Text by Ashley Thorpe
Music by Richard Emmert
Directed by Akira Matsui, Richard Emmert, Ashley Thorpe