Based on the writings of Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
Original music by Honjoh Hidetaro
Co-produced by Complicite, Setagaya Public Theatre, Tokyo and the Barbican, London
Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan 




A rich, manipulative mistress. A submissive, dutiful servant. A test of love and its unknown depths. Come unveil Shun-kin’s shadowy world in this elegant and powerful work of theatre.


Based on the writings of one of the foremost writers of modern Japanese literature, Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, Shun-kin tells of the beautiful eponymous shamisen prodigy who, blinded at a young age, is destined to live in constant darkness. Spoilt and cruel, she demands that her servant, Sasuke, respond to her every whim and fancy. As they grow older, they develop a relationship that challenges conventions of love, devotion and sacrifice.


Shun-kin is performed by an all-Japanese cast – including film actress Eri Fukatsu, celebrated actor Yoshi Oida and master shamisen player Honjoh Hidetaro. Created by Complicite, one of the world’s leading theatre companies, and directed by Simon McBurney, this is the first presentation of the 3 Titans of Theatre, which includes Yukio Ninagawa’s Musashi and Peter Brook’s The Suit.


(1hr 50mins, no intermission)


Jointly presented by Singapore Repertory Theatre and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.


Post-performance talk available for the 30 Aug, 8pm performance.


Time Out New York gives Shun-kin 5 stars

Novelist Jun’ichiro Tanizaki (1886–1965) provides the narrative and tonal inspiration for this new piece by the spellbinding English troupe Complicite. Mingling movement and Bunraku puppetry, director Simon McBurney and a Japanese cast tell stories of love, cruelty and erotic obsession.
Read more

Director: Simon McBurney

A lifelong rule-breaker in search of new understandings, Simon McBurney is the co-founder and artistic director of the groundbreaking theatre company Complicite. The actor, writer and director has risen to become Britain’s leading exponent of visual drama, reinvigorating and changing the face of British theatre along the way. [read more]

In Conversation with Simon McBurney

We had a chat with acclaimed actor, writer and director Simon McBurney on 28 Aug about his creative process and vision.

Read excerpts from the talk here.