Colorful scene in the funeral home. The audience is full of laughter

May 29, 2022, h. 07:00

Artists from all over Europe, great competition and open-air performances, many feelings and emotions – the XXIX International Festival of Puppet Art has ended in Bielsko-Biała. The grand prize went to Compagnie Belova-Iacobelli for the performance lapwingbut we were especially happy with the scene a house Performed by Sofie Krog Teater from Denmark, which in our opinion was the most underrated presentation at this edition of the festival. What is its uniqueness? We write about it in the next review.

After a few years of the pandemic-induced hiatus, viewers can once again enjoy the celebration of the Puppet Theater and Art and Shape Theater, which has been taking place in Bielsko-Biała for more than 50 years. It is the only puppet festival in Europe with a long history. Thanks to it, new trends are developing, and artists and performances unknown to the Polish public can promote themselves.

Festival imprints

This edition was the first to be chaired by the new director of Banialuka Puppet Theatre, Jacek Popławski. It was a very difficult task, because the festival was held after a long break, while many countries still impose hygiene restrictions, and there is a war on our eastern borders. Together with a whole team of artists and other event workers, he managed to organize an extraordinary theatrical event on an international scale.

The graphic feature of the festival has become the white and blue tones of visual identities, which were first designed by competition Piotr Stal – Graduate Graphic Design Graduate at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice and Foundation for Art and Design at Ravensborn University in London.

One of the competition performances was Dom / The House by Sofie Krog Teater from Denmark. This gruesomely colorful display tells the story of several days in the lives of the residents of the Warehouse Family Funeral Home. On her deathbed, the owner of the plant changes her last will. Hidden secrets are revealed and a sinister plan is created. – I invite viewers to watch the story of a house where death lurks everywhere, a house that lives its life and speaks in its own voice. I wish you a lot of fun, but remember that your house may also hide its secrets – Sophie Krug encouraged.

scary sound effects

Using intricately crafted dolls that move around an old dollhouse, Sofie Krog and David Faraco lead viewers through closed doors into places that hide unspeakable dark secrets. The Warehouse family consists of only three members – a sick elderly aunt, locked in her room, and her clumsy but good-natured cousin, whose greedy wife forever changes the course of events. All the other characters in the drama: a dog, thieves and a lawyer enter the house from the outside, often sneaking into it and reinforcing the plot, which is confirmed by Cuco Perez’s pathetic and hideous music.

The most interesting thing is that the puppets are moved and positioned by only two actors – Sophie Krogh and David Faraco, who are able to modify their voices using the movement of the stage and turning on the lights at the same time, which is what the viewer has the impression of watching the show with a large cast. The real artistic skill of these creators is the way they tell a sad and poignant story that makes the audience laugh.

This mysterious show takes place on stage. Accompanied by an intricate lighting system, as well as strange instruments and spooky sound effects, it creates the perfect setting for this comedy horror adventure.

Such a theater will never run out

On the other hand, this year’s edition of the festival featured performances in which questions were asked about how we should continue to live after the pandemic (“Eurydyka” by Teatr Biuro Podróży), what is happening in the mind of an elderly actress (“Czajka” by Compagnie Belova-Iacobelli from Belgium) or whether the doll can live without an animator (the company” Mechanika Soul “Zero En Conducta from Spain), and on the other hand demonstrated the latest artistic trends: talking about the mentality of a sick parent from the perspective of a child (“Mama’s hair” At the Banyaluca Puppet Theatre), a video presentation (“White Fang” by Divadlow Drake) or elaborate light costumes (“dragons” for the Banyaluka Puppet Theatre).

In all this diversity, the jury has identified shows that are closer to classical philosophical drama than to the modern scene, proving that this type of theater will never go out of fashion – we write about the decision of the festival jury in detail in the article Great performances and outstanding actors in Bielsko-Biała. We have met the best!

Agnieszka Pollak-Olszowska

Photo: Banja Luka Puppet Theater

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average degree 3/5 for “Colorful scene in the funeral home. The audience is full of laughter“Based on 10 voices.

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