The Cabinet of Life

Review of "Sand Between your Toes" in Lofotposten, a regional newspaper for the Lofoten Islands, 02.09.2002.

STAMSUND: I thought I was too old for letting myself be moved by paper puppets and bittersweet cabinets. Teater Fusentast has proven me absolutely wrong.

The play Sand between your toes had its first night at the Nordland Puppet Theatre last Saturday. For about an hour we live together with Dutch woman Hetty Kreveld Polak Dab and her encounter with love and death, literally speaking. Hetty is Jewish, you see, living during the World War II, and, aided by simple paper puppets, a cabinet with drawers and closets full of small and big stories, half a bottle of Spanish red wine, black liquorice and two performers who change from actors to stage hands to puppeteers or to just themselves, Teater Fusentast manages to lay open their tale of a strong woman and her strong story.

It is Jaap den Hertog who has written the script together with Lasse Åkerlund. Besides, Åkerlund has filled the part of stage director, and those of us who have seen his plays before surely had expectations of an energetic and captivating experience. And so it was. Hertog and his partner Bjørn Myrholdt served us a performance so intimate and engaging, and so full of life, gripping sorrow and wide-open roaring laughter, that it at times seemed like an emotional rollercoaster ride. Not only because Hertog and Myrholdt understand the art of enchanting their audience, sometimes actively drawing the spectators into the action, but also because the two of them managed to create a thorough unity without any dead moments. Initially, there was perhaps a bit too much information as well as many names for us to keep track of, but there was at no point any low point.

The performance Sand between your toes is created for people from 10 years up, and it will now tour Lofoten, visiting schools. That is excellent, because there is something eternally relevant about the piece. In a time where politics neither seem to engage nor to achieve anything with their more or less ideological convictions, it is nice to find a theatre that is able to pass on the most important of stories to new generations.

Skotnes school is visited today, Buksnes on tuesday, while pupils at Kabelvåg primary school will meet Teater Fusentast on wednesday. On friday they move on to Melby and Sortland.

Nordland Puppet Theatre / Teater Fusentast:
«Sand between your toes»
Audience: app. 60