Thankfully our Media and PR Manager, Simon Harper, seems to have avoided any bad luck that Friday 13th might have tried to throw at him, and has sent us the following update from Japan!

After two days, the rain has finally stopped and the sun is shining down on the Kamakura Performing Arts Centre, where we open the Japan 2011 tour with Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty.

Preparations are well under way and within 24 hours the theatre has been transformed. Sets, lighting, costumes and the Tokyo City Philharmonic orchestra stands all in place ready for the first rehearsal this afternoon and General this evening. The 1500-seat Kamakura theatre is approximately 30 minutes by bus from the Yokohama hotel, but many people making their own way to the venue on the JR Tokaido train line.

David Bintley arrives into Yokohama today before making his way to the Kamakura theatre to watch this evening’s General rehearsal. Diane Parkes arrives from the UK to begin a week-long report of the tour for the feature desk of the Birmingham Mail.

You’ll see from photograph below that the Company remains very popular in Japan, with newspaper clippings displayed outside the theatre covering Chi and Nao’s recent press trip to Japan, when they both experienced the earthquake first-hand.

The first of the tour’s ten performances starts at 3pm tomorrow with Nao Sakuma as Princess Aurora and Chi Cao as Prince Florimund. Rehearsals continue in Tokyo on Sunday where we’ll be joined by Miyako Yoshida and Tamara Rojo, both guesting with the company during the tour.