Southwark Playhouse will present the epic story of a brave rabbit samurai warrior this Christmas, with the world premiere of a family adaptation of Stan Sakai’s iconic comic book series Usagi Yojimbo.
Adapted for audiences aged eight and older by Stewart Melton, the Amy Draper-directed story of the long-eared adventurous hero will play across the festive period from 28 November to 4 January.
Celebrating the series’ 30th anniversary, Sakai’s famous character first appeared in Albedo comics in 1984. Commenting on the rabbit’s forthcoming stage debut, the legendary comic book creator called the production “a perfect 30th birthday present,” saying: “I couldn’t be happier that Southwark Playhouse is presenting the first stage adaptation of Usagi Yojimbo at their theatre this Christmas. Having spent the last three decades with Usagi I’m very excited that his story is going to be lifted from the pages of my comic book on to a London stage.”
This brand new show will transport families to 17th century Japan, where bandit racoons, feline ninjas and warring animal clans reside. There a young rabbit leaves home in pursuit of one ambition: to become a great samurai warrior. Trained by a maverick old lion sensei, Usagi learns that the way of the samurai is one of peace and perfection – not just masterful swordsmanship. But as war engulfs the land, he must make a choice that will test his loyalty, honour and dearest friendship.
Usagi Yojimbo follows Southwark Playhouse’s previous successful family Christmas offerings including Howl’s Moving Castle and Anansi: An African Fairy Tale.