Noh TriviaQuestion and Answer

Question85 Is nakairi an interval?


When a play is divided into two parts and the leading actor exits between Part One and Part Two, the time when the actor is off the stage is called nakairi. From the audience's point of view, it is tempting to think of this as an interval. During this time, however, an interlude known as ai-kyōgen is performed on the stage. Its plot is like an explanation of the story line. Some of the audience may wonder how to spend the time.

During nakairi, the leading actor changes costumes and prepares for the second part behind the stage. Similarly, it may be considered a time when the audience should make themselves ready for the second part. If you ask yourself while watching the interlude whether the world that unfolded in Part One was real or a dream, you will be able to get ready for Part Two, in which the leading actor will guide you through the profound world created by the characters. Your experience of the play may be richer if you lean forward for a closer look of the stage.

(Sep. 10, 2010)

illustration : Hiroko Sakaki

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