Tag Archives: psychophysical

The Llanarth Group’s Told by the Wind – Huddersfield and Tokyo Oct/Nov 2013.

They are not cities I would usually put together… Huddersfield and Tokyo… but that’s where Jo Shapland, Phillip Zarrilli and I are off to next week, on tour with The Llanarth Group’s Told by the Wind.

Jo Shapland and Phillip Zarrilli in The Llanarth Group's 'Told by the Wind'

Jo Shapland and Phillip Zarrilli in The Llanarth Group’s ‘Told by the Wind’

The production in Huddersfield is performed as part of Being Here: Psychophysical Performance as Mindfulness Practice – a four day event at the University of Huddersfield.


Huddersfield (Box office: 01484 430528) presents: TOLD BY THE WIND

(The Llanarth Group)

Monday 28 – Tuesday 29 October

Performance at: University Of Huddersfield: 8.00pm / Tuesday early show 6.00pm

Tickets:  £12 / concessions £10 / student £6 – to book tickets please contact miltonboxoffice@hud.ac.uk

We then fly to Tokyo at the end of the month, showing the work at Babylon Theatre, Tokyo, and commencing what I’m sure will be a fascinating cultural exchange with Ami Theatre, a Japanese company working with Noh. I’ll be blogging about the experience here and writing an essay for New Welsh Review on our return.


‘TOLD BY THE WIND is easily the most hypnotic piece of theatre I have experienced’   BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE

 ‘fragments of ­memory, speech and gestures, ­composed in moments that have a haunting, painterly beauty… hypnotic…with… the astringent purity of a haiku poem…quietly cleansing…’ [GUARDIAN 4*]

TOLD BY THE WIND tours to Tokyo Theatre Babylon immediately following with Huddersfield performances as part of an exchange between Phillip Zarrilli (Artistic Director, The Llanarth Group) and Okamura Yojiro (Artistic Director, AMI Theatre, Tokyo) toward a future collaborative production. 

Diary of a collaboration. Day 2.

Sunhee Kim and Jeungsook Yoo

Sunhee Kim and Jeungsook Yoo

Beijing opera. The theme tune for Father Ted. Adrian Curtin’s haiku. Korean traditional dance. Irish folk music. Bach. Cathleen ni Houlihan….

A second day of contrasts and diversity. The gathered ensemble of Irish, Singaporean Chinese, South Korean and American practitioners unpack and display ideas, sounds, music and influences, informed by certain themes from Genet’s The Maids. Jeungsook Yoo shows a courtesan dance from Korean traditional dance, Jing Okorn-Kuo sings the maiden song from Beijing Opera, Regina Crowley shares a Dolores Keane folk song…. all representations of a kind of ‘Madam’ – the beautiful, privileged one from our different cultures.

Again, I am astonished and thankful for the ease with which we collaborate. But it’s not by chance. The shared vocabulary in the psychophysical approach to actor training which director Phillip Zarrilli has developed, using T’ai Chi and Kalaripayyattu helps. All five performers have trained with Phillip over many years.

Jing, Bernie and Regina improvising

Jing, Bernie and Regina improvising

‘It’s a mode of being, of operation we share,’ Sunhee Kim says.

‘But the bottom line is the work,’ Jing adds. ‘It’s a great group of people who walk in to do the work. Having said that, Phillip’s training gives us tools to stay within that work, to deal with the ups and downs – and there always will be ups and downs.’

‘You’re grounded,’ Sunhee continues. ‘The training gives you a grounding and if you’re grounded, you can be moved by other dynamic. If you don’t have a sense of solid ground, you cannot be adventurous, because you’ll be scared about where you’ll end up. Having a practice makes you freer; you’re not rigid.’