Why the well known amateur company “M and B” go every year to play at Kushibiki Town? This year, they have been playing from 29th August to 1st September, two shows on 30th Aug and two more on 31st Aug. To find the answer, I joined their tour to understand the secrets of their success. The venue was the Public House of Kushibiki in Yamagata prefecture, in northeastern Japan.

M and B
“M and B” show. Photo by Tamiko Onagi

I have to say that “M and B” is an amateur puppet company founded in1993, with a repertoire of 10-15 shows. “M” means Mother, “B” means Grandmother=Baba=Grandmother in Japanese. They play approximately 30 shows per year and they received the Special Prize of “Andersen House” in Japan. They have been playing in many countries and also in Charleville-Mézières.

M and B
“M and B” show. Photo by Tamiko Onagi

The show which presented was titled “IYADA-IYADA-no-KIKANBO-HIYOKO” (Baby Chick, No Way, In-Corrigible-Child), from an original Story written by Satoshi Kako, and directed by Sumiko Sato (Script, Direction and Design).The players were Sumiko Sato(F), Atsuko Morokawa(F), Takami Ebisawa(M). Sumiko Sato, important figure for the amateur puppet theater in Japan, was many years ago Vice-President of UNIMA Japan.

M and B

After the show. Photo by Tamiko Onagi.

“M and B” are amazing and delightful. They caught children’s heart right after starting the show. I understood then why every year they had been invited to perform in Kushibiki Town. Children and Teachers were looking forward to have and see their show. They do wonderful exchanges with the audience during the show. I could see how children concentrated their mind on “M and B”’s show. After their performances, “M and B” shows their puppets to the audience and all children could shake hands with puppets and express their sympathy. In front of the lobby, the staff of Kushibiki venue did a nice puppet decoration to welcome children. I was deeply impressed with the “trust in” relationship between “M and B” and Staff of Kushibiki Town. Then I realized the secret of why “M and B” go to Kushibiki-Town every year.

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