Death Note: The Tragedy of Light Yagami is a tragedy written by Emma Watson in 2010 to coincide with the release of the Western Death Note movie. Like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: A Comedy in Seven Acts, the play is written entirely in iambic pentameter and is therefore considered a modern-day and modern-dress Shakespearean play. The play deals with three heroes: the male protagonist, Light Yagami, who discovers the Death Note and uses the power within to rid the world of criminals, anonymously earning him the nickname "Kira" in the process; the antagonist, L. Lawliet, who is hired to solve the "Kira" case; and the female protagonist, Misa Amane, who strikes a partnership with Light as the second "Kira".
Emma based her play on the two Death Note movies released in Japan. She made several alterations to make the play a true Shakespearean tragedy. For example, she shortened the ending, so that instead of L dying during the final moments of the play like in the movies, he implies that he will die after the final scene is over by revealing that he had written his own name in one of the Death Notes. Also, Misa commits suicide by gunshot wound to the chest immediately after Light's death instead of her not dying at all like in the movies. (She does die in the manga, but a year after Light's death and not immediately afterwards.) Finally, instead of burning the Death Note a few days after the final confrontation with Kira, L simply tosses the Death Note aside.
Also, instead of making Light and Misa actual villain protagonists, Emma changes their personalities so that they are driven insane in their quest to rid the world of criminals, to the point of killing those close to them in order to get their opponents out of the way. Famously, Emma ordered anyone producing the play to ban loaded guns from the stage so that nobody kills themselves (or each other) accidentally. Instead, the guns used had no bullets in them, and recordings of guns being fired are synched with actual shootings in the play.
During the final scene of the final Broadway performance, both Daniel Radcliffe and Emma suffered heart attacks. Daniel suffered his at the exact same moment his character Light Yagami got one from the Death Note, and Emma suffered hers as she as Misa shot herself. Emma recovered hours later, but Daniel had to be rushed to the hospital. He was released the next day, having recovered. Emma has constantly stated that the realism was enough to drive her and Daniel crazy temporarily after the 11th show, but both regained their sanity by the end of the night. However, the realism did almost manage to take its toll on them, as they both suffered mild heart attacks at the end of the 12th performance. "Fortunately for us," she said, "we both recovered quickly. My recovery, of course, was quicker. Of course, it's a wonder we're still sane after all these shows."
The play premiered in the summer of 2010.
Original Broadway run castEdit
- Daniel Radcliffe as Light Yagami
- David Hayter as L. Lawliet
- Emma Watson as Misa Amane
- Linda Hamilton as Naomi Misora
- Roland Kickinger as Ryuk
- Edward Norton as Raye Iwamatsu
- Robert Duvall as Watari
- Sylvester Stallone as Soichiro Yagami
- Kay Panabaker as Shiori Akino
- Bonnie Wright as Sayu Yagami
- Paul Walker as Kanzo Mogi
- Matt Lagan as Lind L. Tailor
- Laura Linney as Sachiko Yagami
- Mark Wahlberg as Shuichi Aizawa
- Steve Buscemi as Touta Matsuda
- Russell Crowe as Hirokazu Ukita
- Aaron Eckhart as Ryotaro Sakajo