The play Glanni glæpur í Latabæ, which is shown at the National Theater, has enjoyed great popularity among children of all ages this winter. It has now come to the point that this play, and recently Áfram Latibær, became the most popular Icelandic children's play shown in Iceland. All shows have been played to packed houses. On Sunday 29 October, the 25th guest visited the Sports elf and ...
The aerobics master and carpenter Magnús Scheving has brought his Sports elf (Íþróttaálfurinn) and Latibær to the Grand Stage of the National Theater (Þjóðleikhúsið). Glanni glæpur í Latabæ will be premiered tomorrow.
Magnús wrote a play based on the book Latibær í vandræðum (1997) with actor Sigurður Sigurjónsson, and recently about 80 people have been working on bringing the show to life. “It’s almost like a smelter” says Magnús when Dagur (newspaper) visited the Sports elf who’s busy just before training yesterday. Magnús actually has a dream that Latibær will be able to provide many Icelanders with permanent employment in the future, and the Sports elf is engages in solid conversations.
Canned fast food
All will be quiet in Latibær when the stage curtain opens at the premiere tomorrow. The Sports elf has gone on holiday, Solla stirða has become as agile as a cat , Siggi sæti eats all kinds of vegetables and the whole play is in full swing. “Then the modern salesman, Glanni glæpur, comes and starts selling them fast food. Tells the townspeople that they should not cultivate their gardens, should have nothing to do with those things other than buying the cans with magical content. This is to teach the kids that not everything is as it seems” says Magnús, who of course plays the Sports elf in the play, who intervenes and tries to save things.
Glanni glæpur (Stefán Karl Stefánsson), on the other hand, knows how to play the inhabitants. The fast food in the cans he tries to sell to the townspeople are expired moldy cans. Glanni, who pretends to be called Rikki ríki, preaches bad manners to the townspeople and is so outspoken that he manages to overthrow the mayor and takes power himself. Then the Sports elf arrives and saves the matter jumping and bouncing around on stage.
Lack of non-violent child material
It’s been eight years since Magnús first got the idea for the Sports elf. Since then, he has toured between groups of children to play the Sports elf, written 3 books about Latibær, published 3 albums, the board game Latador, hardcover books, coloring books, 24 small TV shows and one play. The Sports elf is in collaboration with Búnaðarbanki’s Æskulín (child bank account) and when they deposit the money from their savings into a bank, they receive the same amount in Lató – Latibær’s currency. “And then you can buy health for that money. I am reaching agreements with sports clubs so that the kids can get e.g. 500 kr. discount on a basketball course with Lató. “
Tomorrow, another play will be added to the Sports elf’s track record, but many more are in the pipeline. Introductory editions of Latibær’s characters have been designed in computerized form, in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional form, and Magnús also had puppets of the Latibær characters made from latex, and each puppet is a huge investment.
“There is no point in bringing Icelandic books to present the idea to foreign investors. So I started looking for a marketing package to introduce Latibær as a whole to foreign investors in a short time and clearly. People are very excited about this because there is a lack of non-violent child material in the world” says Magnús who has invested heavily in this preparatory work and says he has already denied investors the idea. He wants the right people, with the right money, and it’s up to investors whether they want to start making a cartoon, a puppet show, setting up small restaurants with healthy food for children or whatever comes to mind.
Latibær = like a smelter
Are you a businessman? “
“I do not know what I am. I never give up and I believe that anything is possible – as naive as it sounds – but it’s a bit difficult to position myself” says Magnús and explains that he once competed in gymnastics but was not exactly an athlete. He also wrote books and plays, but did not pretend to be a writer, but much more of an athlete. “I think I’m just a carpenter…” says Magnús, who finally has a dream that Latibær can become a job creator and refers to a smelter.