Katsura Sunshine, Sit Down Comedy - Japanese Style!

Sunshine is a very experienced performer in the traditional Japanese art form of comic storytelling, Rakugo. Originally from Canada, he is in the unique position of being the only non-Japanese professional Rakugo storyteller in the world and comes to Edinburgh as part of a ten month world tour. As common in Japan as stand-up is here, Rakugo is performed in pubs, universities, temples, on television and just about anywhere else.

There is no doubt that Sunshine is the best or only opportunity to see Rakugo performed in this country, if not outside of Japan.

In a custom-made tartan kimono, Sunshine kneels before us and, with only a Japanese fan and hand towel, recounts comical and quirky anecdotes, or "stories with punch lines". Each joke and mannerism is polite and pristine, and accompanied with a bow to the audience.

Sunshine is superbly knowledgeable and his material is slick and very well prepared. He is a very welcoming host and we are immediately comfortable in his presence. There is a sense of joy in everything Sunshine does and he is very generous with his audience, asking questions but not demanding answers, and praising our terrible attempts at the Japanese he teaches us. It feels like he's created a show with dual missions of entertainment and education; I learn much about Japanese language and culture, which is what most of his material covers, but it's done without mocking or belittling anything or anyone. With stories about miso beans and tigers, he is charming and engaging. Although Sunshine has chosen a life of Rakugo, he is charismatic and entertaining enough that I feel he would have been a performer even if he had never gone to Japan.

There is no doubt that Sunshine is the best or only opportunity to see Rakugo performed in this country, if not outside of Japan. It is not in the conventional style of stand up that we are accustomed to on the Fringe but this is a fun and funny show that anyone with an interest in Japanese culture or widening their comedy horizons should go and see.

Reviews by Cara Ballingall

C venues - C nova

Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity

★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Free for All

★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

If Only Diana Were Queer

★★
C venues - C nova

Two Thirds

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Much Further Out Than You Thought

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Hilarious. Charming. Traditional. Universally funny and yet so very Japanese. Sunshine. Canada's very own. Japan's adopted son. Trained in the art of Rakugo comedy. His punchlines are 400 years in the making. You're gonna laugh. Big time. Fresh from a 20 cities, 30 performances North American tour. Come for a big laugh, and leave with a little bit of Japan in your heart.

Most Popular See More

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets