Noh Training Project UK is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing accessible practical training in classical Japanese Noh drama.

Our primary focus is an annual intensive summer workshop open to performers, teachers, students, musicians – anyone with a desire to learn more about this unique example of Total Theatre. We founded Noh Training Project UK in 2011 to give people in Europe the opportunity to access Noh’s rich traditions and unique training practices.

Noh What?

Noh is a multi-disciplinary art form that combines dance, chant, music, mask, costumes and ancient stories in a powerful and stately performance. Developed by the Japanese philosopher and dramatist Zeami over 600 years ago, Noh is the oldest continually performed theatre in the world today. Other forms such as Kabuki (which was influenced by Noh) are better known in the West, but Noh remains the most regularly performed of the traditional theatre arts in Japan, with a growing following of enthusiasts across the world.


The intense stillness of the Noh form allows it to isolate profound moments of beauty and inner transformation, using a unique combination of dramatic and musical elements.

Noh has inspired and influenced western artists including Britten, Yeats, Grotowski, Barba and Brook.

Today, it continues to inform the work of a range of contemporary practitioners.


A huge site full of information on Noh, in Japanese and (rather oddly translated) English.
Theatre Nohgaku Blog
Regular posts about different aspects of Noh, great photos and narrative summaries of plays
Noh and Kyogen (Japan Arts Council)
Short introductions to the Japanese traditional arts, in Japanese and English
My Journey into Noh Theatre
Lively opinions and Noh analysis from Kyoto-based Noh scholar and performer Diego Pellechia.

Summer Intensive

Noh Training Project UK (NTP UK) is a unique summer workshop held on the Handa Noh Stage at Royal Holloway, University of London, which offers intensive performance-based training in the dance, chant, music and performance history of classical Japanese Noh drama.

2016 Course Details

We are particularly delighted to announce that Noh Training Project UK Masterclass teacher Akira Matsui, designated Intangible Cultural Asset by the Japanese government in 1998, will return to teach at NTPUK for the third year running in 2016. This year, he will also receive an Honorary Doctorate from Royal Holloway in recognition of his five decades of contribution to Noh, both domestically in Japan, and internationally.


Monday 27th June to Saturday 9th July 2016
Classes will run every day except Sun 3rd July (day off). The first three days – Monday 27-Wed 29th June – will be a Foundation Course for complete Beginners.


Prof. Richard Emmert, a certified Kita School Noh instructor and founder of Noh Training Projects in Japan and the USA. He will lead daily group classes in movement, music and Noh chant, alongside individual/small group tuition in Noh instruments.


Handa Noh Theater at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Other rehearsal spaces with the Department of Drama & Theatre will also be available for classes and practice.


Noh master Akira Matsui will lead special workshops during the Project’s final week (5th – 9th July).


Who Can Apply?

Anyone with an interest in Noh theatre. Complete newcomers to Noh are as welcome as those who already have some experience of the form.

Prior performance and musical experience is helpful, but not essential.

All teaching will be conducted in (or translated into) English, so no Japanese language skills are necessary.

What is Included?

• Up to 12 full days of group and individual tuition
• Participation in a short recital (optional)
• Use of the Handa Noh stage, Noh instruments and masks for teaching and practice
• Regular guided screenings of Noh plays
• A course pack, including all scores and texts needed for the workshop
• Reference access to NTP UK’s and Royal Holloway’s library collection of books on Noh

Tuition Fees

10% discount available for students / unwaged participants. COST DETAILS HERE


Not included in Tuition fee. University Halls rooms bookable separately.

Rehearsal Equipment

Participants must buy white tabi and a Japanese noh rehearsal fan for use during the workshop.

With the help of Japanese plays . . . I have invented a form of drama, distinguished, indirect and, symbolic, and having no need of mob or press to pay its way – an aristocratic form.

W.B Yeats 1916

UoL Noh Practice Group

Between periods of professional teaching on the summer workshop, we run a Noh Society practice group in association with two colleges of the University of London: Royal Holloway and the School of Oriental and African Studies. The main purpose of the Society is to give anyone with an interest the opportunity to learn about Noh, and for NTPUK summer school participants to continue to practice and consolidate what they have learnt.

The practice group is free, informal, and open to everyone. We aim to meet twice a month in the evening, once in Central London (SOAS) and once at Royal Holloway to practice on their Noh stage. Future confirmed practice dates are:

Monday 11th January, 7-9pm at SOAS, Room G52
Thursday 21st January, 6-8.30pm at Royal Holloway, Handa Noh Studio
Monday 8th February, 7-9pm at SOAS, Room G52
Thursday 18th February, 6-8.30pm at Royal Holloway, Handa Noh Studio
Monday 14th March, 7-9pm at SOAS, Room G52
Thursday 24th March, 6-8.30pm at Royal Holloway, Handa Noh Studio
Monday 11th April, 7-9pm at SOAS, Room G52
Monday 9th May, 7-9pm at SOAS, Room G52
Thursday 19th May, 6-8.30pm at Royal Holloway, Handa Noh Studio
Monday 13th June, 7-9pm at SOAS, Room G52
Thursday 23rd June, 6-8.30pm at Royal Holloway, Handa Noh Studio


For further information, email Dr Ashley Thorpe (
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Team and Sponsors

Dr Ashley Thorpe is NTP UK’s Co-founder and Programme Director. He is a Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway (University of London), where he specialises in East Asian and British East Asian Theatre.

Prof Richard Emmert is NTP UK’s Co-founder and Artistic Director. He is one of only a handful of non-Japanese Noh experts fully qualified to teach Noh in Japan (where he has lived since 1974) and abroad. As well as performing and teaching Noh all over the world, he is also a Professor of Music and Theatre at Musashino University in Tokyo.


Laura Sampson is NTP UK’s Programme Manager and Assistant Teacher. She studies Noh and runs NTP UK’s projects & development, alongside being a singer, sound engineer and Designers’ agent.


The Japanese Noh theatre which, owing to the technical ability it demands, might also be described as a super-profession




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TWITTER: @nohtraininguk