All posts filed under: Productions

Take Flight

Introduction Take Flight is a production about finding belonging in a world of otherness. It is a journey across continents to a place beyond appearances; a place we long for but are not sure exists. A collaborative South African-Polish puppetry production for young audiences, Take Flight uses diverse forms of puppetry, song and live performance to create a vivid world in which the two main characters look for somewhere they may be at home. Background In Poland there are approximately 25 resident puppet theatres, each employing 15-30 permanent performing staff, plus technical, workshop and administrative staff. These institutions produce theatre year-round for their audiences, mainly children and young people. When Director Marek Waszkiel took over as director of one such resident theatre, Animacji theatre in Poznan, his vision was to bring contemporary puppet theatre artists from around the world to direct work for the theatre. Waszkiel saw Janni Younge’s Ouroboros in Charleville in 2013 where it was being performed at the World Puppetry Festival as part of the France-South Africa seasons. He asked Janni to …

Ouroboros

Ouroboros is a production about time, relationship and the cycles of life, created with evocative, multimedia imagery. At its heart, it is a love story between a dancer and a poet finding the courage to commit. Using the uniquely transforming powers of the puppetry medium, the two central characters appear as several versions of themselves. Audiences witness the unfolding drama of their lives from birth to death. Their interactions form a web of relationships, revealing the interdependence of the past, present and future. The production is inspired by the work of US Poet Laureate Billy Collins; whose work Aristotle underpins the narrative. Predominantly wordless, Ouroboros explores the internal dynamics of relationship through the interactions of the puppet characters, shadow imagery and animated projections. “shadow puppetry, puppets, voice-overs, sound clips and projections are masterfully combined to create a world which is fantastical and yet manages to hold up a mirror to human vulnerability and mortality. The piece manages to convey deep emotions despite the fact that the characters never say a word. We consider language as …

Dolos

Two people, six characters, a domestic insanity. Paul and Carol who are in a relationship on the point of either dissolution or marriage, find themselves torn apart by conflicting inner forces. In Dolos multiple manipulators control the puppet characters, reflecting different aspect of the characters’ personalities. As the pressure within the relationship mounts these forces come into conflict with one another and the drama unravels. Dolos carries us on a journey into the inner world of the characters, accompanied by lively dialogue with a lightly humorous edge, striking visual effects and beautifully carved puppets. The production works with the use of objects to create a layering of identity in characters. It plays with the questions: Do we know ourselves as we are, or are we holding onto an idea of a ‘self’, unable to be with what is? And then in the context of relationship – How long before love becomes yet another idea to be held onto? Dolos is staged using Bonraku-style puppets, live performance and shadow theatre. Credits Producer: Janni Younge in association …

Violet Rose Bite

Violet Rose Bite is a theatrical self-portrait about growing up, about becoming. How do we become who we are? What moulds us? Janni Younge invites us into her life for a refreshingly honest insight into the creation of identity. From the neighbour’s false teeth to front fastening bras, to the deepest reaches of her inner self, this is Janni’s journey through childhood and adolescence. Along the way she confronts her own insecurities and defences. She shares this story with clay, puppets, shadows, drawings and music. Credits Producer: Janni Younge Director: Karen Jeynes Creation and design: Janni Younge Original Music and Sound design: Daniel Eppel Cast Janni Younge

Elise’s Adventures in Congoland

Elise’s Adventures in Congoland is a piece about a white Capetonian who tries to get in touch with her ‘true’ Africanness by interviewing refugees for a documentary. As answers to her questions move further and further from her expectations she becomes confused. Falling down a long-drop, she finds herself on a surreal journey in a land formed from her ideas and fears of Africa. Shadow theatre, marionettes and live video combine with live performance in this a fast-paced and exciting piece of theatre. A satirical comedy, Elise is a multimedia production that makes use of live video feed, marionettes, live performance and shadow theatre. The work calls into question the easy ideas we hold about the African continent and ourselves as individuals living in this context. “Thrilling combination of shadow puppetry, live performance, marionettes and video. Stunning visuals and great acting.”Cue 2005 “Highly entertaining”Sunday Independent 2008 Credits Producer: Janni Younge Director: Janni Younge Creation and design: Janni Younge Original Music and Sound design: Luke Younge Cast Martin Kintu, Chantal Stanfield and Sannie Fox

Fineline

Fineline is a play that reads between the lines of history to explore dreams of change. The play starts in a restaurant on present-day Vergelegen. Waitresses introducing the specials of the day get carried away into telling the story of the historical figures, after whom the dishes are named. They take us back to the early 1700’s in the Cape Colony where a slave woman, Suraya, meets Adam Tas – leader of the ‘free burgher’s rebellion’. Fineline is a story of impossible love and a fight for freedom. In Fineline, the Waitresses are played by actresses while the historical characters are large puppets. Freed from the constraints of the human body, the puppet characters move expressively. These sewn, stuffed figures remind the audience that the story and the characters, as well as their own views of them, are but constructs based on a skeleton of ‘truth’. Credits Producer: Janni Younge Direction, Creation and design: Janni Younge with Luke Younge Original Music and Sound design: Luke Younge Cast Aja Marneweck, Thali Cervati, Vaneshree Lingham and Faniswa …