Sun 21 June

The Great Race!

Alongside the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo July 2020, and as part of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020, A Thousand Cranes presents, The Great Race!, an exciting theatrical adventure, which tells the story of how the Eastern Zodiac calendar was created.

Legend has it, that the Jade Emperor chooses twelve creatures to take part in a great race to decide which years in the Zodiac calendar they will look after. Their years depend on the order in which they finish. Who will come in first? Will it be the wily Snake, the magnificent Dragon or the spirited Rat?  Expect lots of fun, plenty of drama, and many surprises, as the race presents all sorts of problems for those taking part.

Performed by two actors, including artistic associate Haruka Kuroda, who appeared in The Little Mochi Man, Milkyway, LittleSunshine, Little Rainfall, and The Paper Washi Wish, and featuring original music, plus origami and shadow puppets, special hand-made props, and brilliant story-telling, this is the perfect show for children 4-7yrs and their adults in the run up to the 32nd Olympiad.

It tells how not only speed, but also kindness and courage can help you cross the finishing line.


 “The energy, inventiveness and magic while transporting the audience to Japan was tremendous. The audience felt it was joining in on Little Mochi Man’s adventure through Tokyo and beyond”.

Susan Meehan Grants and Scholarships Officer, The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation  The Little Mochi Man

….”a perfect introduction to Japanese culture for young children”.

Hiroko Kimura Head of Education, Japan Society, The Little Mochi Man

“…a delicately nuanced show and Julian Butler’s music and sound effects add to the atmosphere and charm of this production… to keep this audience mesmerized is high testament to the talents of these performers.”

The Stage, The Paper Washi Wish