Almost true and almost traditional is how Kazuko Hohki described her wonderfully offbeat love story, I Married A Spaceman. There is an old Japanese tale about a man who falls in love with a woman who is actually a crane. Taking part in Lynette Moran’s Live Collision programme, Hohki utilises pop crooning and eccentric animation to bring the story to the era of globalisation, as a bored Japanese OL (office lady) marries a British academic, whom she begins to fear may actually be a duck.
Both the traditional story and Hohki’s reworking are concerned with alienness of others, and it’s a credit to Hohki’s storytelling skills that she can even make the English seem otherworldly. There is a modest stand-up comic deep in the heart of this Japanese performance artist, and her reflections about the Japanese male and English sensibilities are hilarious and cutting. The set is mostly bare, but Hohki finds endlessly inventive ways - be it a diorama of a Japanese office that unfolds from her briefcase or the hat and prosthetic nose that signify her husband – to realise her world.
Clive Bell’s live score heightens the feeling of whimsy, and even when a technology failure averted the show’s musical conclusion, Hohki remained playful and bemused.