Latibær is the winter project of the Sólheimar Theater Company and rehearsals began in October under the direction of Edda Björgvinsdóttir. This method was chosen to have more than one actor wrestling with each role. The guiding principle was that everyone would get their dream role. The cast is diverse and about 40 actors take part in the show. Almost all the members of the theater company ha...
The children’s play Áfram Latibær, directed by Baltasar Kormák, is being shown at Loftkastalinn Theater. The play is based on the bestselling book of the same name by fitness trainer Magnús Scheving, which came out last Christmas. The play has received few good reviews and is usually shown for a full audience. A representative of Vikublaðið went with three children to the play, last Sunday.
The play Áfram Latibær takes place in a town that is somewhat similar to Kardimommubær, it has some special Icelandic characteristics. Initially, the mayor received a letter from the president stating that all towns should prepare for the sports festival. But Latibær’s problem is that the people are so lazy that they literally don’t care, e.g. the mail does not bother to deliver the mail. Residents are therefore not happy with the president’s idea and take it badly. When the mayor has given up, the sports elf (Maggi Scheving) comes to the area to lend a helping hand to the mayor. After a brief conversation between the sports elves and the townspeople, everything suddenly changes; the lazy townspeople have suddenly become exemplary sports citizens. The highlight of the play is then a sports competition; but without any explanation, the planned sports festival has turned into a hate-rival competition between two towns, and a trophy is at stake. The final is decided in an exciting relay race and of course Latibær wins, which now changes its name to Leikbær. The townspeople are articulate and full of sportsmanship.
This is not an overly complicated plot, as it may not be necessary, but the story needs to unfold and this story has a long way to go. Why is the sports festival e.g. suddenly become a hateful competition and why should people from the big city be so afraid of Latabær that they feel compelled to steal the cup and so on. The message of the play is good: to encourage young and old to lead healthy lives.
An important thing of the play, however, is that it does not contain any character personality. All the characters are stereotypes: the gossip girl, the TV patient, the corrupt rich boy, the bully, and so on. The characters are two-dimensional, they have no emotions, e.g. the TV patient was addicted to TV, the bully was addicted to bullying. The role of the sports elf is only to wave the magic wand and then everything will be fine. No one has to deal with their problem, no one has to sacrifice anything. It is strange to teach children that things do not have to be done, but that it is enough for some elf to appear and then everything will be fine.
The actors’ performance is good as far as it goes, but they don’t have much to do except for acting gestures in the play, where they do well. In fact, the articulation is the worst, especially for the amateurs. This raises the question of why no actors with special expressions were chosen. Whoever wrote this had to do his best in the chapters, in analyzing the wording.
The external setting of the play is in a cartoon style and that is where the situation of the show works best. Costumes are exaggerated and well made, the set is also fun. The effects of a cartoon style certainly breathe life into the show, but there is no excuse for not having any character personality. Sound effects work well and the music sounds good to the ears. However, it is a big drawback that no song in the show sticks well enough in my mind that it can be sung at home. Then, the lighting was broadly bright and beautiful, however, it surprised me why smoke was always being blown onto the stage before the break. Only once it had a purpose, when there were cars on stage. Some things are not well thought out.
The children at the show were very grateful spectators and there was a great atmosphere in the hall. We still have to make the demand that the children’s play settings could be better. In this case, not everyone liked the story line and the lack of character personality.
The play argues that people should eat popcorn and apples instead of candy, except only on Saturday you can eat candy. During the break I went to the other hall, as the law requires, where there was a display of candy and gossip. It was difficult to deny the children refreshments as it was part of a trip to the theater, but the weekly magazine shop, however, had clearly not received the message: no candy because it’s not Saturday. Then Magnús Ólafsson steps on stage and asks the kids if they have been eating candy, it is not Saturday. They shout that they have eaten candy – then Magnús says that it’s okay, they should just brush their teeth. There are two messages present. How are children supposed to understand this. Why did the organizers of the show not see the benefit in selling popcorn and fruit during a break instead of candy. With this in mind, the goal of the show would have come true.
An advertisement from íslandsbanki was very distasteful and had nothing to do with children in the theater. How would people feel if the bakery in Kardimommubær was called Myllan or something similar.
The author of the work, Magnús Scheving, is one of the leading athletes in the country and as athletes know, people cannot succeed without training. Writing is a very strict sport and people also do not succeed without tireless practice and if Magnús has as much interest in writing and sports then he must know that there is a lot of work and rigorous training to do, because the performance in writing is not to shout hurray for. If sports photography is used, it can be said that Magnús is a similarly capable writer as Gaui Litli is into ballet dancing.