New season programe 2017/2018

29. 8. 2017

In its new season, the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre is pleased to announce 12 premieres of known, popular stories from the Slovenian and international literary treasure chest, but also less known original stories, which Slovenian and foreign theatre artists will stage in their unique way. In addition, thirty performances from previous seasons will remain part of the repertory.   

The theatre’s programme is characterised by performance hybrids – from animated installations to visual inter-media performances, whose primary aim is to find new spectators and establish a more creative communication with them. Thus, the borderlines between a performance and its spectators are becoming increasingly more blurred, actors are increasingly more often placed among the spectators, while the spectators are becoming an increasingly more active element of the performance.

The season will open with the coproduction Open the Owl by Renaud Herbin, a French puppet artist of the younger generation, which will premiere at the World Festival of Puppet Theatres in Charleville-Mézières, where Renaud Herbin will be the guest of honour. The performance is the first part of a diptych; the second part will premiere in April 2018 at the Les Giboulées festival in Strasbourg. The performance will put on stage Klemenčič’s miniature puppets from The Castle of Owls.

September will bring the premiere of the puppet performance Scritch Scratch Scraww Plop!, a tender fairytale for the youngest, which intertwines strong feelings and rich imaginations. The performance based on a picture book by Kitty Crowther (1970), a Belgian illustrator and writer, who received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children’s literature in 2010, will be directed by Ivana Djilas.

King Matt the First is based on a book by the Polish writer Janusz Korczak and the idea of parliamentary democracy as a state tool of contemporary government. In a dramatic and documentary form and through an open and understandable language, it will familiarise children with the ideas of democracy and responsibility. Part of the content will be contributed by the children, who will find themselves in a double role of spectators and performers. The other performers will be actors, who will enact the main story and direct the children’s participation. The performance will be directed by the Serbian director Anja Suša.

The character of Bert was inspired by the biography of Samuel Franklin Cody, a showman, kite-maker and a passionate aviator. In his youth, Cody joined a travelling circus and later established his own travelling theatre, which secured his financial stability. He invested the earned money in his hobby – the making of kites. Bert, which will premiere in November, will come to life as a mixture of live-action, puppet and object theatre and will be directed by Katja Povše.

At the beginning of the theatre’s festive season, Big-Eyes the Little Owl, which, with its simple dramaturgy and scintillating dialogues, enters the world of children’s play, imagination, whimsicalness and conceitedness, will return to the puppet stage. It is the first work that Svetlana Makarovič wrote for children and also her first work staged at the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre. Newly directed by Brane Vižintin and visually designed by illustrator Suzi Bricelj, the performance will premiere in February 2018.

After it was first published in 1975, the anthology Sunflower on the Shoulder has already seen four editions; the latest one expands the treasury of the rich and variegated Slovenian poetry for young people with select contemporary authors. Led by the director Mare Bulc, the creators of staged poetry will stage poems that open (children’s) emotional worlds and talk about feelings and the inner turbulences of love, fear, courage, resistance, unhappiness, friendship, mourning and joy. The performance will premiere in February in the framework of the 9th Ljubljana Festival of Culture and Art Education Bobri.

Gregor Strniša, a poet, playwright and lyricist, also wrote a few works for young people and poems and fairytales for children. With his poetic style, he entered literature for the youngest, introducing to it his idea of “space consciousness” – the awareness that the smallest thing reflects the fundamental characteristics of the universe. In the fairytale Lučka the Dandelion, this can be seen both in the lyrical narration and the poem inserted in the narration, as well as the form of the used phrases. The journey for a blowball and a reflection will be directed by Maruša Kink.

Monkeys, performed by people and machines, will be a journey into the reality of a group of exotic robotic monkeys. These beings, designed to the last detail, live in a mechanical universe erasing the distinctions between human beings and machines, between the “living” and the “dead”. The performance, which Amit Drori, an Israeli theatre director and set designer, and his team conceived and handcrafted over a period of five years, is marked by tools boasting minute details almost bordering on obsession – more than 300 machines on stage provide a detailed presentation of the anatomical features and facial expressions of the characters. The project uses the so-called open-source technologies, EMG, traditional and contemporary techniques of wood and metal working and processing. The performance will be staged in the framework of the European project N.A.P.P., which contributes to the development of contemporary approaches in puppetry in relation to digital art, enabling the extension of the reference space of puppets to new hybrid forms of performing arts.

Rabbit’s House is a story about how every one of us can find themselves in a distress and without a roof over our heads and about how nice and important it is for us to help each other when that happens. This is what Anja Štefan will wittily unveil to us in her fairytale style, while the puppets will come to life in the colourful design by Hana Stupica. The performance, which will premiere in May 2018, will be directed by Martina Maurič Lazar, an actor/animator of the LGL ensemble, a director and since 2013 also an Assistant Professor of Puppetry at AGRFT.

For Wale on the Beach, Vinko Möderndorfer, the author of the novel and the director of the performance, received this year’s Desetnica, the award for the best work for children or youth conferred by the Slovene Writers’ Association. The novel, selected for the annual project Growing Up with a Book, points to the topical problem of inclusion, which will be entirely possible only when society realises that people have the same needs and desires and that people with special needs are not a threat. It is a story that speaks to all generations.

A Storm in the Headis a daring theatre adventure in which the young artists of the LGL Theatre Incubator, together with the director and actor Primož Ekart and other creative collaborators, will learn about the latest discoveries concerning the workings of a teenage brain. Together with the dramaturge and storyteller Ana Duša and the master of movement theatre Sebastjan Starič, young people will train their body and voice, learn various theatre techniques and improvisations and through different phases of creation get to know the entire theatre process, which they will complete with a performance created in professional working conditions.

The Devilish Triptych, an omnibus of three events related to the topic of The Master and Margarita (1966) directed by Matija Solce and Mirjana Medojević, will close the season. The intention of breaking down the novel is above all in presenting the different perceptions of the story in the narrower and the broader context of today’s state of society. The inter-media puppet and visual omnibus will bring together all the artists at Mestni dom and thus announce the beginning of the festive year at the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, which will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its operation in October 2018.