A fateful story based on a real fairy tale Once upon a time there was a boy who had everything – and a goat But one day he lost a trouser button Ladies and gentlemen: Here are angels and demons, fiddles and cheats – ups and downs. Welcome to: Freaks´ Paradise
- CAST Bodil Alling, Claus Mandø, Peter Seligmann, Søren Søndberg
- DIRECTOR Hans Rønne
- SET DESIGNER Gitte Baastrup
- COMPOSER Søren Søndberg
- LIGHT EFFECTS Ida Valeted Prag
- WORKSHOP Sten Molls Rasmussen
- AGE GROUP Adults and children – from 9 years
- FOR FURTHER INFORMATION please contact
Teatret Gruppe 38
firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel.: +45 86 135 311
Life-affirming theatre about a trouser button
Things don’t always turn out for the best. You can fall off the carousel of life, you can become lost, but you can also be found again.
Life is unpredictable and even though things are bad, you must not stop hoping for the best.
This is a lovely life-affirming point in Gruppe 38`s “The Trouser Button”, which premiered Thursday night in Århus. In a simple universe, which smells of the old days, with broadside ballads and stewed gooseberries, we meet the shy and almost invisible Ingeborg, who is all alone in the world and the privileged Niels, who has inherited the manor with the golden copper roof and who has a mother and a father as well as a goat. Niels becomes fascinated by Ingeborg, he sees her, even though others don´t, and she sees him; “Her gaze burnt through his shirt”, when they meet one day in the travelling fun fair, where shadows of bicycle wheels and barrel organ music are enough to complete the illusion. But Ingeborg is afraid, even though she really wants to be with Niels, and she is left with his lost trouser button. Things turn fatal; when the roof of the manor needs repairing and two cheating workmen claim that it will be very expensive. Niels has to travel all the way up in the cold mountains to raise the money. But everything goes awfully wrong and he disappears.
The scenic image is simple, very impressive and is used to the fullest. A large wooden box and four lamps on a stand magically transform into a manor, fun fair, northern mountains and also a grave, where a gravedigger with a funny accent tells Ingeborg that Niels´ mother is waiting for the snow to melt, so they can find her son´s body and bury it.
The story is moving and simple, and Bodil Alling is an amazingly gifted storyteller. You are sucked in by her intense presence, and moved when she shivers and stutters as the nervous Ingeborg. And it is very moving, when she for a moment (almost) steps out of character in order to say, that it is almost impossible to endure, when someone gets so sad that they lose their will to live.
Claus Mandøe as Niels is a cocky and spirited young man, who flees his defeat and travels around with the fair as “half a man”, who dances a tragic-comic and almost floating dance. This is where Ingeborg finds her Niels. She has been waiting for a long time carrying his trouser button in a chain around her neck, and she convinces him that he does not have to run away – because he has everything! “The Trouser Button” is another little big performance from Gruppe 38, a performance, which has a lot to say. It is directed at children and adults from 8 years and up. On the opening night not many of the very young people were present, but I am convinced that although they may not understand all the finer existential points, there are a vast number of quirks and pearls in the performance, which will delight them. (Århus Stiftstidende Jette Skjoldborg March 2008)
Original and Brilliant
Gruppe 38 from Aarhus is a brilliant and prizewinning example of the fact that it is possible to relate fairytales in an original and gifted manner. Their new performance, “The Trouser Button” (with Teater 2 Tusind and Teatret) is another example of just how strong a medium theatre is, when you distil and peel off all the superfluous. In just 40 minutes we get the essence of the story of the farmer´s boy, Niels, his encounter with the orphan, Ingeborg, the travelling fair´s entertainment, the fight for the farm, the love, the separation, the pain and the joy. Performed in a black room with only a podium, spotlights and four, star players. A wondrous, delightful and life affirming mix of narration and theatre. The age group is from 8 and up, but adults will enjoy this immensely too…..
(Jyllands Posten Henrik Lyding April 2008)
Existential Roundabout Ride for Children
The performance “The Trouser Button” sprinkles fairy dust as well as social criticism on the audience.
As in a fairytale “The Trouser Button” appeals to the whole gamut of emotions; you laugh and grieve, while the subtle drama of the lonely creatures is played out on the stage.
“The Trouser Button” a very successful attempt of making theatre for children in the year of 2008. In its subtle treatment of themes like “self-staging” and “the perfect life”, the performance succeeds in conveying existential themes as well as being children-friendly.
(“Illustreret Bunker” (Journalisthøjskolens blad) Anne Nyhus May 2008)