Theatre: Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki

  • Jo Siedlecka

Michel Mears as Fr Wilhelm

Michel Mears as Fr Wilhelm

Two extraordinary pieces of theatre were premiered online by Sands Film Studio on the 75th anniversaries of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Priest's Tale and The Doctor's Tale.

The Priest's Tale is an adaptation by actor/playwright Michael Mears of one of the survivor's accounts from John Hersey's classic book Hiroshima (published by Penguin).

Father Wilhelm was a German Jesuit priest living in Hiroshima at the time of the first atomic bombing. His account is a compelling and clear-eyed description of his experiences that day and in the subsequent months and years - told with compassion and warmth.

Actor Michael Mears bring his story to life in a fine performance here, with live violin accompaniment by Chihiro Ono. Directorial supervision is by Rosamunde Hutt and the event is co-hosted with the Peace and Justice Centre, Edinburgh. (Duration approx. 50 mins.) The play was filmed at 7.30pm on August 6th, the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb.

Watch A Priests Tale here:

The Doctor's Tale - written by actor/playwright Michael Mears, is an account by a young doctor working in a small Catholic hospital in Nagasaki at the time of the second atomic bomb, detailing how he and his few staff, with very limited supplies, survived that day and the following weeks.

Japanese actor Leo Ashizawa gives an intense, livestreamed reading of this story, with support from Michael Mears and live musical accompaniment by Chihiro Ono. The performance was filmed on the 75th anniversary of the Nagasaki bomb. (Duration about 90 minutes)

Watch A Doctor's tale here:

Besides being worth watching for their artistic quality and orginality - I would recommend both these films for viewing by Justice and Peace groups and schools.

Sands Films is an independent film company based in Rotherhithe, east London. Recent productions include The Children's Midsummer Nights Dream, Little Dorrit and most recently The Good Soldier Schwejk.

Read more about Sands Film Studio:

Tags: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Michael Mears, Chihiro Ono, Rosamunde Hutt, Leo Ashizawa, Sands Film Studio

We Need Your Support

ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.

Please support our journalism by donating today.