Cava hope to help theater buffs feel fine


Special To The Japan Times

Tokyo-based mime-theater company Cava is probably better known in Scotland than at home, but that could be about to change.

Cava (pronounced “saba” in Japanese, an approximate rendering of the French greeting “ca va“) was voted “Pick of the Fringe” by the media at last year’s world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the group hopes the accolade will lead to more fans at home.

Japan Mime Studio graduates Kazuaki Maruyama, Takaaki Kuroda and Hiroyuki Fujishiro started the troupe in 2003 after performing together at the acclaimed Avignon Festival in Southern France. In 2008, they became a quintet after recruiting Thin Hosomi and Yukiko Tanaka.

For Cava, five was the magic number. After years of gradually building a following by increasing their original repertoire and performing with other companies, organizers at the Edinburgh Festival allotted them some short trial-appearance slots at the 2009 event. Having clearly impressed, Cava returned in 2010 to perform their witty and physical piece “Continent” to full houses.

“Continent” received praise in several newspapers including a four-star rating from critic Kelly Apter of The Scotsman.

“The five performers have clearly spent the past seven years honing their craft,” Apter wrote. “For they are masters of comic mime.”

Fringe Review, the leading website covering the festival, commented: “Looking at the audience at the end was an education, you don’t often get such a bunch of happy faces all together, it was a sea of smiles.”

Now the five members of Cava hope they can make audiences in Tokyo smile, when they present their acclaimed 2008 program “Wana” (“Trap”), a humorous look at the strategies men and women use to pick-up dates in Tokyo.

Cava will then take “Continent” to the Kijimuna Festival in Okinawa before heading to Adelaide, Australia, for the OzAsia Festival.

“Wana” will be performed at Kagurazaka Session House in Shinjuku, Tokyo, on July 9 (6:30 p.m) and July 10 (1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.). Tickets cost ¥3,000 in advance (¥2,300 for students). “Continent” will be performed at the Kijimuna Festa in Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture on July 23 (1 p.m., 5 p.m.), July 24 (3 p.m., 7 p.m.) and July 25 (7 p.m.). Ticket prices vary. For more details, call Cava at 080-4071-3838 or visit www.cava-mime.com.