In one bound, the rising English director Jonathan Munby found himself in the spotlight of Britain's theater scene in 2017 when his smash-hit production of "King Lear," with Sir Ian McKellen in the title role, transferred straight from the rural Chichester Festival Theatre to the West End.

Now, with the final curtain having just fallen on a long sell-out run there, Munby has arrived in Tokyo to stage his second work for Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon: "An Enemy of the People," written in 1882 by the Norwegian "father of modern drama," Henrik Ibsen.

So what drew him to this venerable work set in a poor little coastal town in Norway where its protagonist, Dr. Thomas Stockmann (played by Shinichi Tsutsumi), discovers the water in a hot-spring spa built at great cost to attract tourist cash is dangerously polluted?