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How Mister Felix Entered a Bicycle RacePuppet production, length 45 min

Photo Jaka Varmuž
How Mister Felix Entered a Bicycle Race is the story of a local eccentric who enters a cycle race on a whim. Instead of a racing bicycle, he rides a small, borrowed city bike, and rather than victory, he pursues pleasure – in riding, drinking lemonade, taking a dip in cold water, enjoying the beautiful day.

Felix lives in the here and now, unconcerned with winning or losing but rather appreciating the small gifts of life. The ordinary day that accidentally turns into an adventure unlocks a desire for light-heartedness and speaks loudly for the joy of life and love for fellow humans. Felix is not special for refusing to shave his beard and always wearing the same clothes; he is special for having let go of prejudices and allowing himself to be exactly what he is.

The performative technique is largely based on the zoetrope, one of the earliest forms of (film) animation. As the device uses a rotating mechanism, the production combines it with spinning bicycle wheels. The chain drive allows for simultaneous rotation of items of scenery such as the screening surface and projection of videos from a time when the mechanism of displaying film frames still involved the film stock running through a projector. Manipulation of the mechanisms by the animators (Maja Kunšič and Gašper Malnar) creates a dynamic enactment tense with suspense—until the moment Mister Felix decides to take a rest, when everything stops, and the peace and quiet make space for mindful awareness of the precious moment. Another key cast member is the VJ (Stella Ivšek), who live edits the images of cyclists from four simultaneously spinning wheels.

The witty cycling race raises questions about the relativity of winning and about what it means to perform well (better, best). At the same time, the story examines how a community identifies with the achievements of an individual and explores the relationship arising from this identification. This is a phenomenon most notably present in sport, and there could hardly be a better time for such reflections than the “super Olympic year”, when both the Summer and Winter Games are being held within less than 12 months.

Opening night: 18 September 2021
LGL Small Stage
2021/22 season