The Jungle Book

ksiega 6
Script: Bernd Ogrodnik poziom2KUP BILET

Stage direction and stage design: Bernd Ogrodnik
Script (inspired by a novel of Rudyard Kipling): Bernd Ogrodnik
Music: Lucjan Wesołowski
Assistant director: Patryk Steczek

Cast: Agata Butwiłowska, Patrycja Czyszpak-Pawlak, Katarzyna Pałka, Klaudia Kalinowska, Katarzyna Stanisz, Małgorzata Wolańska, Joanna Wiśniewska, Wojciech Kondzielnik, Szymon Nygard, Jan Tomasz Pieczątkowski, Marcin Sosiński, Wojciech Stagenalski, Patryk Steczek, Kamil Witaszak, Wojciech Schabowski

The Jungle Book is yet another marionette performance of the Arlekin Puppet Theatre. It is a story which is well-known and much-loved by children around the world. It tells the life of Mowgli – a boy who is raised by wolves and who is on friendly terms with the animals living in an Indian jungle with its own rules. The story is shown in a very appealing form. First of all, the cast is made up of all the actors from the Arlekin Theatre. Additionally, the sets consist of unique, complicatedly carved puppets which in this form have never been used anywhere before as well as a special rotating stage.
The person responsible for the staging is a world-famous puppeteer, currently living in Iceland, Bernd Ogrodnik whose master performance Metamorphosis could be watched in Lodz in 2015 at the first edition of the AnimArt Festival. He gained worldwide acclaim thanks to designing marionettes for the movie Strings. The music for the performance is composed by Lucjan Wesołowski – a famous artist, multi-instrumentalist from Lodz and an expert of Hindu music. 

PREMIERE: 29th April, 2017 at 7 p.m.

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What we are aiming for with this project is to brake down barriers that have existed in Marionette theater and even in puppet theater in general. We aim to go beyond limitations regarding space, puppets and performance.

In Marionette theater you are usually limited with acting space in connection to the square given around the two bridges. We want to brake out of this frame, so Bernd designed a rotating stage to make use of the depth of the space, added central pillar that is camouflaged as a tree, which also holds a puppeteer and that allows the puppets to wonder deep into the forest – using the depth of the stage. The rotating stage covers all the playing area and on top of that one are two other rotating platforms. Sounds complicated and it is, but this opens possibilities for endless positions, making use of space completely differently, from the square of the possibilities of the two bridges.

Our approach is not just rotating the stage between scenes but also during the scenes, both the big one and the small ones and we aim to create more cinema tonic effect with this approach. To get this effect, we have to play the puppets with strings as long as possible, in order to see as much of the depth of the landscape and the depth of the stage, without revealing the puppeteers. To get the feeling of this flow of characters in the space, we need to use 15 puppeteers and we need to let the puppets go between the puppeteers to create the illusion of the freedom of the characters moving around in the space.

Another limitation we try to brake away from is that Marionettes are usually played on even surface but we will have uneven ground in the set, so they have to be able to move over obstacles, walk upwards and jump over hurdles. So some of the characters are featuring a control system that Bernd developed for the movie Strings, which gives more versatile possibilities of movements, specially walking over uneven grounds.
We try to stretch for achieving accurate and fine movements of the puppets, we want to see them breath on stage and take on their independent life – not just moved from one position to the other.

The technical challenges of a production like this – have cost the circumstances that we are way behind rehearsal schedule – so we don’t know how much we can succeed in producing movements and the life we are looking for – but Bernd´s goal is that everyone through the creation process, from puppet builders to puppeteers will gain new insides, learn new techniques and ways to enhance our art form.

Bernd Ogrodnik MMaster Puppeteer, Puppet builder and Artistic Director of “Worlds of Puppets”
Bernd Ogrodnik has been a prominent figure in the world of Puppetry since 1986. He is the Artistic Director and Co-founder of the Icelandic Center for Puppetry Arts, and serves as the Master Puppeteer for the National Theater of Iceland. He has toured all over Europe, Canada, Arfica, the USA, Middle East and Asia as a performer, director, teacher and lecturer at International (Puppet-) Theater Festivals, Universities and Conferences.
He has been performing, directing and creating Marionettes, Puppets, and Masks for various Theaters and Operas around the world, for Collectors and Museums, Commercials, TV and Film.
Mr. Ogrodnik has gained world wide reputation also through his ground-breaking work as designer and lead puppeteer for the Marionette epic Movie “Strings”, which was screened in movie Theaters around the world and garnished with nominations and prizes on film Festivals around the world. He is the recipient of various Grants and Awards both in his home country Iceland and Internationally.

Most Recent Awards
• 2014: “Best artistic production”, Bangkok, Thailand
• 2012: “Prix Michael Meschke International” for fostering and pioneering the Art of Puppetry
• 2011: “Griman”, the Icelandic “Tony Award” for best children´s performance “Gilitrutt”
• 2010: Menningarverðlaun DV. Award for the cultural contribution in Iceland

Among many other recognitions, Bernd Ogrodnik also received the IBBY award (International Organization honoring contributions to youth cultural life), Jim Henson Grant, NY-USA and AURORA-Fund Iceland.

Performance`s photos

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Making of The Jungle Book

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