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Moby DickMusical-puppetry spectacle, length 90 min

Photo Christophe Raynaud de Lage
Moby Dick is a puppet-musical spectacle for young audiences by internationally acclaimed Norwegian director Yngvild Aspeli, inspired by the timeless 1851 classic by American writer Herman Melville. The thrilling story of the hunt for the great white whale is one of the greatest works of world literature. It is the story of a sailor waging war against a creature as large, dangerous and unknown as the sea itself. Who will win? Man or nature?

This adventurous tale of the ruthless hunters of the famed white whale explores the struggle between man and nature, the relationship between the living and the non-living, the synergy or divergence of the anthropomorphic and the zoomorphic.

The story of a whaling expedition is also a story of obsession, frenzy and revenge. It is a narrative that reads like a prophetic map, sailing through human actions to key questions of ethics and morality. Melville's language and style are translated by the creators into a visually impactful production in which seven actors, including Slovenian actors Maja Kunšič and Primož Ekart, use fifty puppets to create mystical animated forms that take us on waves of powerful images of one of the greatest literary symbols - the white whale. This spectacular stage adaptation, with music by the renowned Norwegian trio MoE, is not only an adventure, but also a timeless exploration of character, faith and the nature of perception, enlivened with redeeming humour, and a welcome addition to the repertoire of Slovenian theatre for young audiences.

Set designer Elisabeth Holager Lund, lighting designers Xavier Lescat and Vincent Loubière, and video designer David Lejard-Ruffet create a timeless space around the actors and puppets, giving the impression that the story is composed of sand, wreckage and bones at the bottom of the sea: a decommissioned ship, shadows that appear and disappear, wires and ropes to follow in order to lose oneself in the mental map and find oneself at the heart of the madness of Captain Ahab. The harmonious fusion of the works of these four world-renowned artists creates a perspective that takes the audience into the very heart of the deep sea.

On a stage that resembles a sunken wreck, singer and bassist Guro Skumsnes Moe, Plexus Polaire's permanent collaborator, percussionist Ane Marthe Sorlien Holen and guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Håvard Skaset accompany the action with live music on a proscenium stage that allows the production to introduce the emotional palette of the story through the musical dimension rather than through an overabundance of words. Alongside them, a spectacular orchestra provides a sonic atmosphere.

The performance was ranked first in Klassekampen's list of the best performances in Norway in 2020, and critic Amud Grimstad wrote: “Light, video projections, music, songs, a spectacular and intricate set, fifty realistic puppets and extremely skilful acting and puppetry combine to create an exquisite, visual, powerful and incredibly beautiful theatrical experience.”

“Described by the French critical blog Theatr'elle as "a whirlwind of special effects that creates a highly technical, masterful and spectacularly beautiful picture”, this production of Moby Dick is a co-production of the French theatre group Plexus Polaire with twenty European producers, including the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre. The Slovenian premiere will take place in the Linhart Hall of Cankarjev dom, where tickets are also on sale.

The Norwegian director Yngvild Aspeli (actress, director, and puppet designer) graduated from the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris and from the Marionnette de Charleville-Mézières National Art University (ESNAM). She works in France, Norway, and England. In 2008, she established Plexus Polaire, a strong team of co-creators which is, together with six other actors and actresses from France, Spain, Estonia, and Slovenia, involved in staging the Moby Dick performance. T
Co-produced with Plexus Polaire (France) and Norland Visual Theatre (Norway)

World première: October 2020, Nordland Teater (Mo i Rana, Norway)
Premiere: 3. November 2021, Cankarjev dom
Plexus Polaire (Francija)
Motives by: Herman Melville
Directed by: Yngvild Aspeli
Asistant director: Pierre Tual
Dramaturg: Pauline Thimonnier
Actors and puppeteers: Sarah Lascar, Daniel Collados, Alice Chéné, Viktor Lukawski, Maja Kunšič, Primož Ekart and Andreu Martinez Costa