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 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.
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.
2018 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 fifth year running in 2018. In 2016, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Royal Holloway in recognition of his five decades of contribution to Noh, both domestically in Japan, and internationally. Last year, his work was the subject of a special performance in London (Noh Time Like the Present) and he continues to collaborate with artists all over the world in addition to regular appearances as a noh actor in Japan.
Saturday 18th August – Saturday 1st September
In the Full Workshop, Classes will run every day including the bank holiday, except Sun 26th August (day off). Akira Matsui will teach during the final week of the workshop only, from Monday 27th August, culminating in a participant recital on 1st September.
The first weekend of the Full Workshop will be a Weekend Taster for beginners, which can be taken alone, or as part of the beginners 1-Week Intensive which will run for a week from Saturday 18th August.
Experienced/Returning Participants may choose to join the Full Workshop from either 20th August (for a skills refresher) or 22nd August.
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.
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.
Noh master Akira Matsui will lead special workshops during the Project’s final week.
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 13 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
Taster Weekend: from £210
7-day Intensive: from £400
Full Workshop: from £550
Accommodation is not included in Tuition fee. University Halls rooms bookable separately.
Rehearsal Equipment: Participants must buy (or borrow) a noh rehearsal fan, and white tabi (or white socks) 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.
2018 Update: This year, some members of the UoL Noh Practice Group will participate alongside students in a workshop performance of Emily, a newly composed English language Noh play about Royal Holloway alumna and renowned suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, to be performed at Royal Holloway’s own Handa Noh Theatre.
For further information, email Dr Ashley Thorpe (email@example.com).
For regular updates, join the NTP UK Mailing List.
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 Producer and Assistant Teacher. She studies Noh and runs NTP UK’s projects & development, alongside being a storyteller, broadcaster and agent.
The Japanese Noh theatre which, owing to the technical ability it demands, might also be described as a super-professionGrotowski