REVIEW: Japan Marvelous Drummers

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SHOW:  Japan Marvelous Drummers

VENUE:  8 Assembly George Sq

TIME:  1315

DATES:   Run Closed

A  highly skilled, audience pleasing and funny family show which subverts expectation but delivers  a cultural experience you won’t forget.

Walking into a Japanese drumming show at the George Square Theatre, you kind of know what to expect.  The Theatre is a barn of a room and it takes a great deal of skill, talent and hard work to create an atmosphere in such a space…….but the Japanese Marvellous Drummers did exactly that and a whole lot more. 

I didn’t get the show I expected at all. I have been attending the Fringe for 30 years this year and have seen various incarnations of drumming shows and they have all been great experiences.   They all provide a spectacle of sound and noise, sometimes with a narrative structure to the show, sometimes an exploration of history and culture.   They are usually fun, engaging and allow you to sit back and take in a cultural experience you may not otherwise be exposed to. 

Japan Marvelous Drummers does all that too.  There are references to the history of Japanese drumming and music and visually, the sight before you is colourful and magical as the performers accomplish physical feats of musical excellence.    There is a feel of old school circus to this show with the musicians understanding the spectacle of the experience, timing and show.  They work hard to put the audience at ease, engaging and involving the audience.

One of the major differences about this show is the way in which it involves humour, sometimes verging on the slapstick.   In less skilled hands, this could become clumsy and create distance between the cast and the audience but Japan Marvelous Drummers handle this deftly.  They pace the show perfectly, enabling much well needed resting points for some of the cast and this technique creates moments of calm in a very high action show. 

Japan Marvelous Drummers is a slick hour of musical entertainment which even the most ardent folder or arms will find it hard to resist.   NPO Japan Marvelous are adept at involving the audience and making it easy to enjoy and engage with the performance.  

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