Surprise delights



"Nonsense and Other Senses" is a performance for the little ones, and a surprise and delight for the big ones as well.
Around seventy festival-goers had found their way to the third floor of Kulturhuset. Behind the door of Teaterloftet [the theatre loft, trans.] Theatre Fusentast from Trondheim had rigged up with a long red carpet and a house at each end.
It was like a street one had never walked before, inhabited by people one had not met yet. But it did not take very long to get on good terms.
The recipe for the puppetry is nonsensical poetry immersed in music. And it works. For forty minutes, the woman behind the idea, puppet maker, translator and actress Coby Omvlee, and her partner Per Trygve Johnsen (composer, musician, drawings and performer) hold their audience inside the magical bubble of language. The one where rhymes are rolling, roles are turned upside down, and the imagination runs as freely as love sick Antonio on the way to his chosen one on his trusty ponyo.
And the kids are laughing. First, when Isabelle faces a horrible hungry bear. And eats him. And the witch she meets disappears in a glass of milk, and she stuffs her the doctor’s mouth with plaster. This is what happens when one uses one's head as a method.
Then comes the grasshopper who steps on the elephant's foot. and the kids chuckle and giggle even more of the man in the onion bed who plays guitar and cries because he loves his onions but they certainly make him very sad.
Sadder it even gets the during the sad story of Vilde, where the message is that in the end it is not very smart to be a big fat liar, and about the whale it is stated that it might be a good swimmer, but it cannot be eaten with sour cream in one bite.
The beauty of "Nonsense and Other Senses" is the loose and playful threads that the players cheerfully weave together. These things keep the kid's concentration, and the fine details of the set design puts their imagination to work. Two masks and a boat:
"Now they are sailing! " exclaims the four-year-old on the second bench, before a piglet creature with a lavish ring in the tip of the nose, steals the next attention.
The greatest success, however, befalls Antonio. An elaborate puppet in an elaborate doll’s house courting on the back of his "ponyo". But will he get his "konio" [wife, trans.]?
He said it, the boy on his way out:
"Not so strange that that Antonio didn't smell so good. He had plenty of rotten old pizza on the chair!"