Katsura Sunshine’s Leicester Square Questionnaire
“A Master Storyteller!” The New York Times
“There is only one Sunshine!” The New Yorker
“The King of Kimono Comedy!” Reuters
What’s your most memorable heckle?
Great question. Before I was well known in Japan people were surprised to see a blond Rakugo storyteller. When we perform Rakugo we kneel on a cushion in a position that is famously uncomfortable for non-Japanese. Once I was performing and as I sat down and bowed to start my story, a lady in the audience said more loudly than she perhaps realized, "Oh! He actually kneeled down!" I looked up at her and answered, "Madam, I am a professional Rakugo storyteller. Kneeling down like this is part of my job. Kneeling down is not a problem for me. Now, getting back up at the end of my set - that's another story!
Where do you go for your pre/post Leicester Square Theatre gig food?
So Restaurant owned by my dear friend and great sponsor, Tetsuro Hama
What’s one word to describe the state of the UK?
Snog, Marry, Avoid - Priti Patel, Piers Morgan, Andrew Neil
Had to look up Priti Patel - definitely snog!
Has lockdown influenced your material? If not, why?
The pandemic has given me material, so yes. Also have gotten used to performing online. But a break from live performance on Broadway gave me the time to launch my Japanese Denim Kimono fashion line - so the time definitely did not go to waste!
Who would you describe as your arch-nemesis?
Right now there is nobody doing what I am in New York or London, so for better or worse, MYSELF!
When was the time you bombed the most onstage?
Right after my Rakugo apprenticeship ended, for about two years, constantly...
What’s been your strangest fan encounter?
Two super attractive 30 something ladies came up to me after a show at Leicester Square Theatre, giddy, bubbly, asking to take a picture and sign my autograph. I felt like a superstar. As they left they said, "Thank you so much Sunshine. Our parents are huge fans - they will be delighted that we met you..."
Where’s your favourite place to tour?
Love. All. Touring. Period.
How do you like to relax after a gig?
In a local bar close to the theatre with new friends. (Sorry - boring answer but true...)
What’s the one thing you want the audience to take away from your show?
I hope that they come for an evening of laughter and leave with a piece of Japan in their hearts. (Sorry, that might be two things.)
Would you rather have fingers as long as your legs or legs as long as your fingers?
Wow. You are throwing difficult questions at me here.
Who would win in a fight: Badger or Baboon?
Do these animals fight? Might want to ask them... I would try to step in and get them to work out their differences.
What’s the oddest thing you’ve overheard in London?
As a Canadian, I find it really hard to tell when my London friends are being straight or ironic. So even if I did overhear something odd, I doubt I would recognize it as any odder than everything I hear in London.