What would Nelson think of our latest addition to the collection?
It’s a poster advertising a performance of Trafalgar: Nelson, His Love and Miracle by the Cosmos troupe of the Takarazuka Revue. Founded by employees of the Hanyu Railway Company in 1913, the Takarazuka Revue is an all-female musical troupe in Japan that enjoys cult status among Japanese theatre-goers. During its long history, the Revue has staged an extraordinary array of lavish productions, drawing freely on Western musicals, film and popular culture as well as Japanese folklore. Trafalgar was an original musical based on the love affair between Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton, written and directed by Saitou Yoshimasa and starring Oozora Yuuhi as Nelson and Nono Sumika as Emma. It was performed to packed houses at the Grand Theater, Takarazuka, and the Takarazuka Theater in Tokyo, during summer 2010. The performance was followed each night by the song and dance extravaganza, Funky Sunshine. Takarazuka Revue’s innovative reworking of British naval history is a fascinating example of the enduring global appeal of the story of Nelson and Emma Hamilton. The poster comes to the Museum as the generous gift of the Takarazuka Revue, together with a printed programme.
We are always on the look-out for interesting and unexpected instances of how the image and mythology of Nelson has been reinterpreted and reused around the world. Have you seen a good example? If so, let us know.