Worlds of puppets

Location: The National Theater of Iceland

Puppets in Theater

Puppets in Theater

Despite or maybe especially because of our time of perfect, high-tech productions for the screen, the fascination and need for life Theatre is eminent.

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Nothing can replace the intimacy between performer and audience and the medium of the Puppet as the communicational link between them. Something extraordinary seems to take place in a successful Puppet Theatre.

The audience, being initially aware of the fact that the actors are ”only” puppets, seem to sign under a silent agreement, stating: ”We believe”.  Thus they actively contribute to the process of bringing those puppets to life.

And when we feel that these fragile figures, attached to silken threads, have a heartbeat of their own – that they are able to express our deepest emotions, joys and fears – then we experience the true magic of Puppet Theatre.

Our own productions:

 

ALADDIN

The show of Aladdin is a true bliss for our senses. The beautiful puppets, colorful costumes, wonderful music and rhythmic lyrics, all combine in a strong experience of the audience.

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The story of Aladdin and the magical lamp originates in the ancient collection of stories called “One thousand and one Arabian nights” which is a collection of stories first written down over thousand years ago, in a time when Bagdad and the Middle East were at it´s cultural peak.

Presented to us through images of war in the evening news and corrupted by the ideology of politics and religions on both ends, we can easily forget that this region is considered the birthplace of our civilisation.

Our performance of Aladdin is our tribute to this region of our magnificent planet, which seems so far away, not only in distance, but also in cultural heritage and understanding. We fear and easily judge what we don’t know and understand, but the heart opens quickly once given a chance to truly listen to the heartbeat of our fellow men.

We invite you on a journey to ancient Bagdad in the Middle East.

 

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA

… an old man, a small boat, a giant fish and the endless ocean …

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First published in 1952, The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it earned Hemmingway both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and Nobel Prize in Literature.

Here we stage this classical tale of an epic fight through the poetic means of the Puppet Theatre.

“MAN IS NOT MADE FOR DEFEAT, A MAN CAN BE DESTROYED BUT NOT DEFEATED”

 

THE TROLL AND THE RAVEN

The troll and the raven is the Icelandic version of the German fairytale Rumpelstilzchen set in the Icelandic countryside starring a troll woman named Gilitrutt. Only natural Icelandic material is used for the design, mainly Icelandic wool and wood from the local Arctic Birch.

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Ancient tales seem to be a simplified means to help us understand the world and forces surrounding us, but they are deceiving in their simplicity. Their true value is the feeling and the metaphoric application underlying the crudely written text.

In our times of collapsing social systems built on loans and credit cards, which we naively hope will grand us immediate satisfaction of our so called needs, the story of Gilitrutt comes as a wonderful reminder to take a closer look at our value systems and behaviors.

The story of Gillitrutt is traditionally depicted in very brief words, leaving plenty of room for our fantasy to paint a detailed description of a time where people lived more closely with the forces of nature that surrounded them. Gillitrutt reminds us of a value system guided by those forces, and the individual response and responsibility towards these forces. Winter will come as surely as the pleasant summer months. The question is are we ready and well prepared. Short cuts may buy us some time, but every refuge has its price. Are we ready to pay that price whatever that may be? Are we ready to face the troll when it claims it´s price?

 

CLEVER YOU ARE – ALFIE ATKINS

We peek into the life of Alfie Atkins and his dad, where every day life can change into a big adventure in a blink of an eye – just like ours could, if we would open up to imagination, playing and creativity.

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Gunilla Bergström, the author of the world known books about Alfie Atkins, contacted Bernd with the interest of working with him, bringing her character to the puppet form. This cooperation gave birth to this wonderful boy into the three dimensional world.

The show is based on two books by Gunilla, “Very Tricky, Alfie Atkins” and “Good Night, Alfie Atkins”

 

PETER AND THE WOLF

The Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev created the story and the music “Peter and the wolf” in the year 1936 to familiarize young people with the instruments of the symphony orchestra.

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Our production stays true to the original story and the music leads the show on. Each and every character represents an instrument of the orchestra.

We offer the show of Peter and the wolf in English and it has already toured across all Canada, and it will be visiting the Caribbean islands in the spring of 2015.

 

METAMORPHOSIS – Poetry in motion

What Poetry offers to Literature, Puppetry can bring to the Theatre. “Metamorphosis” is a collection of original short stories not told with words, but with the metaphorical grace of Puppets.

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“Metamorphosis” depicts the constantly changing nature of our existence and our perception. Nothing remains the way it seems, as it does not matter what we see but how we see it.

The cast consists of the most intricate marionettes and rod puppets carved of wood, as well as unforgettable characters created simply with silk scarves and the hands and feet of the puppeteer.

The context of the vignettes ranges from the trivial to the metaphysical. A strong emphasis lies on imagery, made possible through the surrealistic quality inherit in Puppets.

 

GRYLA´S PANCAKE

Gryla´s pancake is a fun Christmas story based on a European tale.

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Gryla is the troll-mother of the Jule-lads, the ancestors of the Santa-Clauses (plural, because we have thirteen of them in Iceland). She is getting ready to treat herself with some juicy bite when our heroine, the Pancake, manages to escape her frying pan with it´s intention of rolling all the way to the stable where little Jesus and his parents dwell cold and hungry. But on her way she meets many that want to have their bite of the “pan”cake…..

 

Theatre – other productions

  • Vancouver Opera – The Magic Flute
  • The Icelandic Opera – The Magic Flute
  • The International Theatre of Iceland – Ballið á Bessastöðum
  • The International Theatre of Iceland – The Pillow Man
  • The International Theatre of Iceland – Fools and Princesses
  • The Reykjavik City Theatre – Ronja The Robber´s daughter
  • The Theatre of Akureyri – Little Shop of Horrors

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