(Peter Crawley’s article appeared in the Irish Times, 12/4.)

At a certain point in Toshiki Okada’s drifting 2006 play, translated by Aya Ogawa, a young woman full of complaint and short on compassion recounts dumping her depressed boyfriend. She recognises at least some cause for sympathy: “because well he was a part-timer… barely scraping by… I’m a temp… and a temp is really just the same thing.”

In this intriguing vision of Tokyo, which could really be any city where existence feels precarious, nothing seems permanent.

The dialogue, for instance, is a non-committal patter: “It’s a little, like, too bad, you know.” “That doesn’t have anything to do with anything.” “I mean, whatever’s fine.”


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