Open rehearsal of Beatrice, March 15

Yesterday, I visited Det blå hus in Roskilde to watch an open rehearsal of Tidsrum's adaptation of Beatrice. So I brought back a report and some pics!

Tidsrum treated us to the play's intro and a few scenes. The play is completely wordless, accompanied by music written specially for the play and performed on instruments partly built from junk. I got to meet Anna and Hercules, Franz and Beatrice and of course little Josephine; I got to see them interact with each other. Contrary to some other puppet shows I've seen, the puppeteers, Karina Nielsen and Ida Marie Tjalve, aren't trying to be invisible; instead there's a subtle interplay between them, the puppets and each other that add an extra dimension to the story. It was the kind of amazing where it's hard to put into words. I also had the pleasure to meet the director, Stephen Tiplady, who usually works with puppetry in the U.K.

And here are some pictures. They're kind of crappy and don't do the puppeteers or the scenery justice at all, but they might give you a hint. I didn't manage to capture Anna on camera, because she was the first character to appear and I was busy trying not to burst into tears (that's how exciting this is). And keep in mind that these are rehearsals, so everything you see on stage is still under construction. The set design and puppets are the work of Sarah Piyannah Cederstrand.

Tidsrum's homepage (in Danish) can be found here, and the Facebook page for Beatrice is over here. Keep an eye out, because they continually post cool pictures and updates.

Some more about the music for Beatrice: here's composer Andreas Busk demonstrating the "Bornholm violin", an instrument he built out of an old clock specially for the play. Crank the volume up to get the eerie overtones.