So, we went to see it last night, and I gotta tell you, it is FANTASTIC. We all agreed that it exceeded our very high expectations. Everything was fabulous. There was really nothing I could put my finger on and say that this was a weak point. Totally and absolutely fantastic. You must see it. :-)
The plot has been changed a bit from the movie (and when I say the movie, I'm talking about the English language version which is the only one I have seen - I know that the Russian and Romanian ones have different storylines, but I've never had the chance to see them), there are fewer characters and they've sort of thrown the music about a bit. The same songs pop up several times in different scenes. That actually works really well. Since it's partly for children (there were a LOT of adults in the audience ;-) I'm sure it's a good choice to keep familiar things coming back like that. The music is so fantastic that hearing it over again is never annoying, only wonderful. :-)
The costumes are just to die for ... they are all so well done, emphasising the exact right traits to make each of the characters convincing as whatever animal they are supposed to be, as well as keeping the 70s look just right for the movie fans. The costume department must have had soo much fun making them. :-) Hair and makeup are all great too. I really loved the white hair on the Hens. :-)
The scenography is brilliant, fantastically well done ... very simple, the stage is kept almost bare, but soo suggestive, you never wonder what it is you're seeing, even when there's hardly anything there. I'm pretty sure that would have been the same even if we hadn't seen the movie. The few set pieces there are are extremely evocative and really brings the scenes to life, even as simple as they are. Absolutely wonderful. Of course I expect that, it's the National Theater, but even so I was impressed.
What really made this so perfect though was the cast. O.M.G. I hardly know what to say. Absolutely everyone was absolutely fantastic. :-) Not a single person could have been better. That is extra impressive because there are children playing some roles ... the Lamb, the Piglet and the Chicken are played by adults, but for obvious reasons the three kid goats have to be played by real children. (If I tell you why that's obvious, I'd be revealing too much of the plot, so sorry, you'll just have to go see for yourselves. ;-) And they were pretty young children - one of them, the littlest goat, can't have been more than five, six at most. She was still really really good. She didn't just say the lines that she'd been taught, as most children that age will do (even in legitimate theater), she really acted her part. A very talented girl. Although if the one we saw was Elsa Døvigen-Ousdal (there are three children for each of these three parts) she clearly has acting talent in her genes. ;-)
Since it's the National Theater, you expect some big names ... but in a play like this, maybe not so much. Well, they're here, though. Quite a few big names, some very big. Lasse Lindtner, Anne Marie Ottersen, Anne Krigsvoll, Mari Maurstad, Kjersti Elvik, Finn Schau, Anne Marit Jacobsen ... the latter in one of the best roles of her career. She plays the Chicken. She is beyond fantastic. I'd go so far as to say that she's perfect.
All the actors do a marvellous job, really showing the species characteristics of each animal that we need to recognize them. The four Hens are really wonderful. Lena Kristin Ellingsen and Øystein Røger are fantastic as the Goat and the Wolf. But the one I have to really point out is someone I can't say I am familiar with at all - Tor Ivar Hagen, who I never heard of but suspect may be on loan from Trøndelag Theater, where this play was first produced, and where he also played the same role. He is totally and completely amazing as the Donkey. He IS the Donkey. His costume and hair is one of the absolute best in the entire production, so of course that helps a lot, but it's also his face, his delivery and first and foremost his body language that just makes him be this character. He totally blew me away. This production is almost worth seeing for him alone. o_O
I have to apologize that this post is so laden with superlatives, but I can't help it ... this thing really deserves every last one of them. And more. I'm tempted to use the a-word. If you love musical theater and you have any chance whatsoever of getting to Oslo, you MUST see this. Seriously. You must see it. You can buy tickets at the theater's website, here. GO AND BUY YOUR TICKET!!
Don't forget that half an hour before showtime they sell whatever tickets are left at half price. ;-)
A tiny glimpse from the show here - the Goat teaching the kids the secret song:
Just outside, in the background, you can see the Donkey as he listens and relays the lyrics to the Lynx and the Wolverine, as part of their nefarious scheme to help the Wolf gain access to the Goat's house and eat the innocent little kids. :-D
3 weeks ago