Southern Yacht

My little take on plus size fashion, life, travel and smurfs

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at The Point, Eastleigh

Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at The Point, Eastleigh
The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers arrived at The Point Theatre in Eastleigh this week as part of their UK tour. Mugenkyo are Europe’s leading Taiko drum group and are currently celebrating their 25th year of performing. Founded by Neil Mackie and Miyuki Williams, they learnt their craft from the prominent Taiko master Masaaki Kurumaya Sensei in Fukui, Japan.
To be honest, I didn't know a lot about the Taiko drums. The other half knew a bit more and was very excited to see them performed live. On arrival, we noticed earplugs were being handed out and we could hear the drums in the distance as the players warmed up - we knew were in for a loud evening!
Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at The Point, Eastleigh
The show was a mix of new material and some older favourites from the last 25 years. The first half of the show was called Tribe and was described as a celebration of our collective human spirit. With a variety of drums, (plus a megaphone!) dramatic lighting and dance, the mix was a fusion of traditional and contemporary. The overriding impression I had straight away was how much the players were enjoying themselves. The love they had for the drums and performance shines through to the audience and you can't help but be involved. Culminating in the final piece of One World Tribe, the mix of voice and drums was haunting and reminds us that we are all one world and one voice.  
Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at The Point, Eastleigh

Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at The Point, Eastleigh
During the interval and at the end, some of the players were in the foyer of the theatre to answer questions and meet the audience. It's such a personal touch that makes you feel more connected to the whole show.
Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at The Point, Eastleigh

Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at The Point, Eastleigh
The second half celebrated the last 25 years of the Mugenkyo. The first piece started with a solo by the groups founding member Neil Mackie on the Odaiko, a huge drum which takes immense energy to play and can only be described as almost hypnotic. The precision and synchronicity of the drumming with the other players was spot-on throughout the show, sometimes playing two drums at once whilst moving around the stage with martial arts-inspired choreography .
Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at The Point, Eastleigh

Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at The Point, Eastleigh

At the end of the show the cast truly deserved their standing ovation. The amount of energy and stamina needed for every show is mind blowing. Quite how they manage to perform at that level night after night on their tour is beyond me. Mix this with their humour and warmth and obvious enjoyment and it make this a show not to be missed.
As well as touring, Mugenkyo have released a number of albums and concert DVD’s which makes them the most artistically prolific Taiko group outside of Japan. They also perform at large-scale events and festivals at home and abroad and run weekend workshops in rural Scotland where you can learn to play the Taiko drums (which honestly sounds like the best stress relieving idea ever).
A big thank you to Mugenkyo and to The Point for inviting us along. The Point Theatre is a little hidden treasure in Eastleigh and every time we visit the staff make you feel so welcome.
The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers are touring throughout the UK until the 24th November 2019. You can visit their website here for more information on dates and tickets.

Thanks for reading

Cathy
xx

[Press tickets gifted for the purpose of this review]
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