Sunday, 25 May 2014

#41 - Kyōgen, Traditional Comic Drama from Japan



Kyōgen (狂言, literally "mad words" or "wild speech") is a form of traditional Japanese comic theater. It developed alongside Noh, was performed along with Noh as an intermission of sorts between Noh acts, on the same Noh stage, and retains close links to Noh in the modern day; therefore, it is sometimes designated Noh-kyōgen. However, its content is not at all similar to the formal, symbolic, and solemn Noh theater; kyōgen is a comical form, and its primary goal is to make its audience laugh. Kyōgen is sometimes compared to the Italian comic form of commedia dell'arte, which developed around the same period (14th century) and likewise features stock characters.