By Toshiki Okada
Director: Toshiki Okada
It is estimated that about one million Japanese have withdrawn from society and hardly ever or never leaving their room. They are called “hikikomori”. Many of them live with their parents for their entire lives. Many of them become violent when they can no longer bear the pressure to become a functioning member of society in the end. Many of them see their withdrawal as a reaction to social conditions: “I’m not weird, the world is.” What does the future hold?
Toshiki Okada’s new play “The Vacuum Cleaner” takes place at the site where the hikikomori withdraw – the home; in a cramped house with thin walls, where only the sound of the vacuum cleaner provides a little privacy. How can people live together like this? After “No Sex”, “Nō Theater” and “Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and The Farewell Speech”, Toshiki Okada, one of Asia’s most prominent theatre-makers, is now staging his fourth production at the Kammerspiele. He has promised it will be funny.