Play with puppets and language

Can a girl eat a bear, and is it smart for a worm to watch the stars? Children at Ostereidet got the answers when the book boat Epos visited.

The book boat Epos is touring the district. In the past week the boat has docked at Toska, Holmeknappen, Ostereidet and Masfjordnes, and as usual there is a lot of fun on board. The boat travels around with books and actors who make sure visitors have something to watch, laugh at and wonder.

Teater Fusentast
This week it is Teater Fusentast who has been on board. Karl Markus Reinert and Coby Omvlee have assembled a performance with funny language, nursery rhymes and surprises. It has been titled "Katta og andre strofer" [English title "Nonsense and other senses", trans.], and offer a lot of amusement.
- Meet Isabell and the Bear, the two actors said, and fished out a puppet and a teddybear and continued talking. The beard was big and scary and growled that he would eat the girl, but lo and behold, he was gone. The only thing left of him for the audience to see, was a few balls of fur.
- The girl has eaten the bear, the nursery and schoolchildren who were watching concluded.
They followed everything the actors came up with closely. The children got to hear strange stories involving everything from men who picked onions, to naughty girls, sweaty ostriches and worms that watched the stars.
- We want to show the children that there are many ways to tell stories. We tell the stories with the help of many different types of puppets, drawings, role-play and songs, Omvlee says.

Nonsense poetry
In the performance Reinert and Omvlee also play with language and nursery rhymes.
- We are working with nonsense poetry, and use the language to push the limits. The stories we tell are not built how stories are normally built up, and it is fun to see how the children react when the stories don't end the way they expect. Like when the puppet Isabell meets the bear, people expect the bear to try and eat the girl, but then the opposite happens. The girl is the bear. The children who see the performance are usually very curious about how it actually happens, but we never reveal our magic tricks, Omvlee says and laughs.
She has been touring with a theatre boat before, and thinks it is an enjoyable way to travel around to the audiences.
- It is a bit cramped on board. It is a challenge to play a performance in such a small space, but we have used a bit less of the set than usual, and it works well, she says.
At Ostereidet there were around 60 children gathered in the boat. There were children who are in nursery, and in 1st and 2nd year at Ostereidet primary school. And even though the weather has been a bit rough this week, the boat has managed to get to each location all right.
Today, Saturday, the book boat is in Andvikgrend and Nord-Kvingo. Sunday the towns of Veland and Åsgård are in line, and Monday the boat heads on to Dalsgrend, Sletta and Nordangervåg. If you wonder where and when the boat stops, you can read more about it online. The book boat Epos has its own website where you can find information about borrowing books and the cultural programme on board.