Friday, December 22, 2017

The Chelm Legend: Fool Moon

A theatrical adaptation based on the humorous stories of Chelem and Eastern European Jewish folklore. Leimech and Laizer set out on an adventure to find a new moon for the town of Chelem to replace the one that was stolen.

The plot unfolds via a pop-up book, combined with puppets and shadows and incorporating original klezmer...

Galia Levy Grad has created a world of magic and beauty using the simplest, most minimalist techniques: the entire drama materializes out of a pop-up picture book. The visibility of the theatrical mechanism to the audience only serves to enhance the magic and liveliness of the two-dimensional figures. Galia has created exhilarating theatrical moments by means of inventive, aesthetic and highly imaginative elements. 
 - Comments by Judges’ Panel, 22nd Haifa International Children's Theatre Festival, 2012

A brilliant adaptation of the Chelm stories for paper theater, created jointly by Naomi Yoeli and Galia Levy Grad. (The latter is also the narrator and manipulates the characters, engaging in lively dialogue with them.) It’s impossible not to fall in love with Levy Grad, who brings to life the townspeople made of beautifully decorated papercuts; they appear, in fact, from an old book of tales, like pop-up postcards. The show reminds us of the true magic of theater and is an extraordinary glimpse at some wonderful stories from Jewish culture.
- Merav Yudilovitch, Ynet

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A British Christmas Tradition: Pantomimes

Pages from printed programme for Robinson Crusoe pantomime performed at the Theatre  Royal, 
Drury Lane, December 1881, England.  (c) Victorian & Albert Museum, London

Pantomimes are a mainly British tradition, that has come to be performed almost exclusively in modern times around Christmas.

Being a type of theatre, pantomimes have of course, been adapted to the toy theatre.  The toy theatre versions originally came out during the Victorian age.  Victorian pantomime inspired today's versions, but were very much of their time.  The history of pantomimes goes back much further, however...

Monday, December 04, 2017

Secret Life of Cats

On December 2nd, at the Sala CCB (Performing Arts Center) in Mexico City,  the company Huellas en Venus Teatro premiered a new toy theater show - "About the Secret Life of Cats". It will be performed there until March 2018, and after that they hope to travel it round the country.

Watch the creative process come alive, as the company brings this production to life!

A behind-the-scenes trailer for the new toy theatre production (in Spanish):

From an recent interview of the company:
The production, in paper theater format,  written by Gerardo Castillo and directed by Mauricio Martínez Martínez, tells a story that will uncover a legend about relationships between cats and humans. 
In this world full of magical and mysterious places, the audience will be able to meet characters like Lorenza, the little kitten of colossal proportions, Timotea, the colorful flying kitty and his loyal friend Rodolfo, the acrobat mouse, and, of course, the daring Sir Thomas Malory Tapioca.
The story arises from the need to explore the thousand-year-old figure of the cat, which has inspired from heroic legends to tales of terror. With a sense of humor, the project is immersed in its amazing stories and vicissitudes, the same that happens on the margin of the daily worries of the human beings. 
Miguel Ángel Morales, Mauricio Martínez Martínez and Ana Cordelia Aldama make up the cast of this work that proposes the fusion of paper theater with a contemporary expressiveness, in which the actors use the resource of oral narration, with masks and manipulation of objects.
That sounds amazing!  I hope anyone in Mexico who has the chance, definitely checks out this fantastic production...