Backstage with Meg Kubota
Can you tell us more about the character you play?
Mrs Okada is Mari’s mum who is a housewife, who dedicated her life to bringing up her only daughter, and to make a comfortable home for her husband and Mari.
And your background as a performer?
I’ve done most things to do with acting. Theatre, TV, Film, Radio play, Animation, Audio books… So a real mixture, and I enjoy doing them all as they all call for slightly different skills.
What do you think the play is about? What attracted you to it?
I think the play is about identity; who we are and what we put on top of it to cover that. It’s also about coming of age, friendship, family… I thought the play was unique exploring Japanese subculture, which I found interesting.
How true to life is this portrayal of the downtrodden Japanese housewife?
I’ve never seen Mrs Okada as downtrodden, so not sure what to say. I think she is disillusioned, for sure, but I think that’s universal for humankind at some point in their lives. There is certainly expectations about marriage in Japan, not just from older generation, but from the society as a whole, that marriage will bring some sort of eternal happiness!? I suppose East Asian women tend to have external submissive appearance when actually they are in control. They know how to manipulate men subtly, so they get their way without men noticing. Maybe this is universal too, not exclusive to East Asians?
The play explores the fantasy of dress up and role play. What’s the craziest costume you’ve ever worn?
A film I did, there was a fashion designer attached to it who made a custom-made dress that was made from the same fabric as the interior of my character’s house. I had a massive bob wig to go with it!
What do you like about theatre, as opposed to film and TV?
Theatre is great because you can actually live your character in full (usually in chronological order), and it’s live so there is something new to discover everyday.
Why should people come to watch Harajuku Girls?
It’s unique and original, with lots of fun! What’s not to like about the show!?