One company that cares about quality and the total experience
is Dockteaterverkstan from Osby. This year they appeared at
the puppetry festival with "August, Augusta and little Augustin"
for children between three and six years old. Four well-made,
beautiful puppetsworked by visible puppeteers tell a simple
little story about a circus family where everyone is brave
and clever - as long as they get a chance to try. The tone
of voice used to the children and the consistent level of
abstraction are other ingredients of the story-telling. In
other cases, puppet-theatre performances often show weaknesses
in script and dramaturgy. Empty words often fill the gaps
between more or less virtuoso numbers by the puppets. The
emphasis is placed on the puppets' technique, and instead
of portraying character there are illustrative games.
Lis Hellström Sveningson
Sweet and simple
Both tiny tots and quite big children can enjoy
the direct contact between puppets and puppeteers. The story
is as simple as can be. August, Augusta and their little Augustin
are a family of clowns at the circus. August works and must
show his clown tricks while Augusta keeps the home in order,
washing clothes and dishes and looking after Augustin. A proper
family life and division of roles? Well, when August gets
toothache and has to go to the dentist, Augusta shows that
she really can take over his tightrope act, and so the balance
Mothers and fathers would enjoy this story,
and they would also appreciate the Swedish Dockteaterverkstan's
rather playful openness about the relationship between puppeteers
and puppets that talk to each other.
For the youngest ones the most important thing
is probably that the three members of the clown family are
irresistibly nice puppet characters and that the story and
the puppeteers' play with the puppets is simple and easy to
follow. Isn't it most fun to see adults working and playing
with the puppets and talking to them, and imagining that I
can do it too?
This is a playful, down-to-earth performance:
it's neither an adventurous, fantastic story nor an exciting
or scary one. But that can be good too. An audience between
three and five won't have to risk being frightening or confused.
Sissel Hamre Dagsland