vol.4 Dynamic Stage Sets
With Kabuki's sophisticated stage machinery, including lifts and traps, many spectacular stage sets can be seen. Only Kabuki theatres in Japan are equipped with such amazing machinery as the suppon lift that allows actors to appear suddenly in the midst of the audience. Other stage lifts make it possible for whole buildings to rise up out of the ground, or for the huge roofs of dilapidated palaces to crash to the floor! The large revolving stage is said to have been invented in Japan in 1758, making it the oldest in the world! This revolving stage enables very rapid changes of set, as well as more dramatic scenes in which such things as boats can seem to move unaided from one place to the next. In certain scenes great roles of painted cloth can be cleverly manipulated to represent billowing waves or roaring fires... a beautiful spectacle... while in other sets you may see what looks like real barrels of oil spilled onto the stage, real rain or even a waterfall with actual water! Even if you've seen Kabuki on tour in other countries you won't have had the full experience until you visit a theatre in Japan.