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Born: 1971
Function: stage director playwright actor
Company: The Shampoo Hat

Born in Chiba Prefecture, Akahori joined the performance collective Stage 14° in 1994. When it disbanded in 1996 he formed The Shampoo Hat and since then has written and directed, as well as acted in, all their productions. Akahori's early plays were skit-like situations, but since 1998 he has used very ordinary settings such as a middle-class family's kitchen, a room in an apartment, or the roof of a building, in which he creates an existential theatrical space for his subject matter. While exchanging laughs, the characters and their lives are depicted in a thoroughly real and banal way, laying bare the awkwardness, hilarity, cruelty, and even insanity inherent in human nature. Akahori also writes and directs productions for other theater companies, and writes scripts for many screen productions. The Shampoo Hat's 2007 work Sono yoru no samurai (The Samurai That Night) was shortlisted for the Kishida Drama Award.

Photo: Mano Yoshiki
Hebi (Snake)
This play is set in the suburbs of Chiba Prefecture. It is the rainy season and a sticky humidity envelops everything. There has been a spate of grisly and indiscriminate killings of pet dogs. Inoue Nobuko runs a small butcherfs shop together with her husband Haruhiko. With her bedridden mother to care for and pathologically reclusive eldest daughter, Hiromi, Nobukofs home life is oppressive. Then, out of the blue, her younger daughter, Miki, suddenly turns up with her boyfriend and announces that they want to get married. Nobukofs equanimity is utterly shattered by Mikifs bombshell, and all her pent-up rage and emotions begin to surface.

First staged: 2006
Acts/scenes: 2 acts, 1 scene
Cast: 11 (6 male, 5 female)
First staged by: Seinenza Theater Company

Photo: Saito Izumi
Sono yoru no samurai (The Samurai That Night)
The manager of a gas station, Nakamura, lost his wife three years ago in a hit-and-run accident. Since then his life has become nihilistic, as he wears his wifefs clothing at any opportunity and listens to her voice on the telephone answering machine over and over again. Meanwhile, the person responsible for her death, Kijima, has already been released from prison. For some time he has been receiving daily anonymous notes threatening, gIfll kill you and then myself!h and his irritation is growing. While Nakamura suppresses his emotions and feels as though he is waiting for something, Kijima is unrepentant and continues to hurt those around him. On the anniversary night of the wifefs hit-and-run accident, a confrontation between the two takes place, butc

First staged: 2007
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 16 scenes
Cast: 9 (6 male, 3 female)
First staged by: The Shampoo Hat