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Edinburgh Festival 2011: Stephen Earnhart on The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle -

On his return to New York, Earnhart immediately wrote to Murakami. In his letter he said he’d fly all the way to Tokyo just to meet for ten minutes with the famously private author. Earnhart turned up at the writer’s home armed with a bottle of the single malt whisky beloved of all Murakami’s protagonists. The promised ten minutes turned into many hours as the two men bonded over a shared love of filmmaker David Lynch and “lashings of 18-year-old Macallan”. Earnhart described his bold vision for a stage adaptation of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, combining live performance, puppetry, film, music and dance. Murakami, who is notoriously reluctant to grant permission for adaptations of his novels, said yes and gave Earnhart complete creative control. For the past seven years, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has dominated Earnhart’s life and swallowed up his savings, forcing him to live in a tiny one-room studio and live hand to mouth. This Saturday, Earnhart’s staging of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle finally receives its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival. “If you’d told me at the beginning it’d be this much work and time I don’t know if I’d have done it,” says Earnhart with a wry laugh. He sees The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle as the culmination of everything he’s done so far. He has worked on cult American TV comedy show Saturday Night Live, developed internet programmes for IBM and produced music videos for David Byrne. He hopes his latest work will have wide appeal: “The lesson I learned from Miramax was about how to create unique projects which push the boundaries but are still appealing to the masses. That’s what Murakami does -- he writes books for the man on the subway and doesn’t care that he’s shunned by the Japanese literary elite. Though he doesn’t know if Murakami will ever see the finished work on stage, the author recently paid him the compliment of asking if he would adapt one of his books for the big screen. Earnhart says, “It would be huge. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 20--Wed 24 Aug as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Source:

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