Carlo Gozzi's magical tale brings to life King Deramo, the faithful Angela who loves him, his treacherous prime minister Tartaglia, several hare-brained members of his court, a magician, a parrot, magical stags, and a giant bear.
It's a fairy tale for all ages, a story of love and betrayal, intrigue and mirth, magic spells and pageantry.
It is a fantastical and at times satirical look at the destructive vices of ambition, jealousy, and lust, and the power of true love to transform and transcend them all.
And like all good fairy tales, "The King Stag" is not only about enchantment. It's also enchanting.
Taking place in Auroville,
Sri Aurobindo Auditorium, Bharat Nivas
11 & 12 of December 2008
Bye-bye english 18th century and russian 19th century literature, bye-bye Agni, Orpheus and Kassiopeia, bye-bye slap-sticks of the gross kind - here comes a vibrant, young and funny theater that really catches young and old.
Even Srimoyi had no objections to guns, murder and kisses on-stage at Bharat Nivas Auditorium. Surely enough she came in at the end to save the world and it's pure intentions from the grip of the evil (funnily her husband, and Auroville's 'Finanzminister').
It was heartwarming to see Aurovilians cheering, clapping and enjoying, people who most of the time live under the spell of selfimposed mandates, misinformation, fraud and intranet postings that make you want to cancel your internet connection.
There is nothing wrong about 'serious' cultural events, but the introduction of a lively contemporairy approach to the performing arts certainly adds to a city in the making, to a society in the making.
At the end it's not different from Shakespeare, Kafka and Goethe, it just is contemporary!
Why does that matter? In a - as I mentioned before - city/society in the making, it's important 'to go with the flow' without losing it's values. Sticking to the 'old ways of living', to the 'old fashions and ideals', to idealize the 'good old times', will let you be as good as dead before you're even born, so to say. Life and development always happens 'on the spot', in the 'here and now'. That doesn't mean that the essence of yesterdays truth is not the truth of today. But it means that it has to be applicable at every very moment.
I like to credit the actors:
Afsaneh: Vivid and brilliant as always Otto :As wicked ;-) as we all know him, a natural born actor (and politician?) Charu : Very funny and skilled, but slightly overdoing his gnomy appearance Veronique : It took me a while to recognize her. Excellent! Johnny : What can I say? A living legend that knowbody really expects to understand Nicolai : If I would be a theater agent, I would grab him! Ancolie : The shy, dharmic girl who keeps us believing in the 'good of the world' Srimoyi : Purer than a diamond, as usual. The good girl who can't help it being a good girl. The 'Birdcatcher' : Emotional and innocent, certainly very sporty. The 'Rapper' : Not as cool as a rapper is ought to be, but trying hard. Beside that 'she' had a hard time hiding her ... Primeministers daughter : That's why older men keep looking at young girls! She got something about her I can't explain. (You find this comment unappropriate? Well, the stage was full of guns ... )
Unluckily I do not know everybody personally. But 'The King' Jeremy, n.d.r.) for example played an excellent double-role, as king and as 'Primeminister-Incarnate'. Everybody did it's best, and they did it very well.
And then the Director ! Thank you Aubert ! Thank you for all these little details: the cat-walk, the in-lines, the lovely little details of the ' Bodyguards ', the sound and lighting, the efficiency of the simple props, the costumes ...
Aubert, thank you and your dedicated team very much , and ... PLEASE START WORKING ON THE NEXT ONE !!!