Assisted by projectors from the1800s, we are put in contact with the afterlife in Teater Fusentast's anniversary show.
The award-winning theatre celebrates its 20 years of existence this year, and it does so by producing ”The Grand Finale – how to survive Doomsday”.
The piece is based on a short story by Dutch author Belcampo (1902-1990), relating the day the Apocalypse, the end of the world, hits the idyllic town of Fagersund. Not all of its citizens are equally well prepared to meet doomsday. Who will be sent up the heavenly road? Who will go to hell? The protagonist, photographer Belcampo of the Fagersund Times (resembling our Adresseavisen) is hit by an acute panic, on account of his untidy life.
"The basisi of this story is quite down to earth, really. Like many other small, idyllic towns, there is much that smoulders under the surface in Fagersund. Bribery, hypocrisy, and double standards for example", says Coby Omvlee in Teater Fusentast.
Together with Jaap den Hertog and Dr. (Tor Einar) Bekken, she plays one of the angels who unravel the story in the form of a Phantasmagoria - a type of performance, which, aided by projectors, gives the audience an experience of contact with life after death.
The Phantasmagoria is created with magic lanterns from the 1800s, classic slide projectors of the 1950s, and live camera transfer with a modern video beamer. It was Fusentast's founder Jaap den Hertog, who had the idea for the show.
"I am very fond of anachronisms, putting old, well-known pieces into a new context, and Belcampo is a writer with whom my generation at home in the Netherlands has a strong bond. He wrote this short story about his hometown, and its residents felt they were being ridiculed. He is still so controversial, that a bust of him in that town is out of the question", den Hertog says.
In addition, den Hertog has always been fascinated by the magic lantern, a projector that was invented in 1659. Its intricate system of lenses has been in use up to our days, entirely unaltered, in slide projectors, movie projectors, overheads, and now, partially, in the video beamer.
No one has ever done something similar, and Jaap concedes that all 17 people who are involved in creating the show have used an insane amount of time on it.
He himself took 5 months leave from his medical practice for the creation of the performance.
The show demands much technology and inventiveness. For example, it is impossible to use an ordinary video camera because the puppets and the sets are too tiny.
After much experimenting with different small cameras, we discovered a salmon research scientist in Ranheim. The kind of equipment he uses to film salmon turned out to suit us perfectly. We have also had help from a Dutch artist collective who experiment with such untraditional techniques, den Hertog, who can celebrate 25 years as a puppeteer, says.
The piece lasts 50 minutes, and is suitable for children from 12 years and up, as well a adults.
Time and place: Teaterhuset Avant Garden
Tonight at 18:00. With the exception of Monday, the piece is performed every day until Thursday 28. October.