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 ...
A new children’s play by Magnús Scheving and Sigurður Sigurjónsson will be premiered at the National Theater today. It is called Glanni glæpur í Latabæ and is an independent sequel to Latibær which was shown with great popularity some time ago. Latibær’s characters find themselves in a new adventure when the arch-thief Glanni glæpur appears on the scene.
The residents of Latibær have established themselves on the large stage of the National Theater. Now the town is actually no longer called Latibær, but Sólskinsbær (sunshine town) where everything is going well, everyone has changed their way of life since the Sports elf took over their town in their time. Now everyone grows their own vegetables and eats fresh fruit, candy are only eaten on sweet days and everyone moves and makes sure to get enough exercise. Model people in a model town. But the residents of Sólskinsbær are fond of innovations and when Glanni crime appears one day with all kinds of irresistible offers, the inhabitants can’t resist it. It would of course be much less effort to buy the fruit and vegetables in cans and stir energy powder into the water instead of going to the gym and tidying up the kale gardens in the spring and fall. When things take a turn for the worse, the Sports elf shows up and manages to reverse Glanni’s crime after a two-sided fight.
Magnús Scheving and Sigurður Sigurjónsson have put together a play from Magnús’ story which was published two years ago under the title Vandræði í Latabæ and is now called Glanni glæpur í Latabæ in the stage update and tells the story of the people of Latibær, with the unscrupulous shopping disease. “Of course, Magnús is the author, but we have created the play together” says Sigurður. They both come to the show, each in their own way, Sigurður directs and Magnús plays the Sports elf. “Of course, no one else can qualify for that role.” says Sigurður. “Magnús knows his elf inside and out, as he has played him more often and more than can be counted. All children know Magnús and the Sports elf. They are one in the children’s minds.”
When asked about the message of the play, Magnús says he is not shy about presenting it. “The message of the play can be defined as positive prevention, where certain attitudes are respected. Latibær should stand for a positive and healthy attitude in the minds of children and their parents. The message of the play is simple and clear. If you want to be successful, you have to do a few things. There are no quick fixes.” says Magnús firmly. Director Sigurður accepts this but says that his role has revolved around creating a fun and colorful show.
“We gave ourselves a certain premise with the work of the show and looked a bit at the cartoons’ sense of acting style, costumes and set design. The set designer Snorri Freyr Hilmarsson has no small part in that” says Sigurður. “The cartoon style is of course very familiar to children today, exaggerated characters, colorful environments, large movements and they are often followed by all kinds of sounds” says Sigurður. “However, there is a difference in the content because in this work no violence is seen or profanity is heard. TV cartoons are often nothing more than violence, even if they are meant to be funny. It is also possible to be funny and entertaining in other ways” says Magnús.
Magnús says that Latibær and all the characters in the work have been in constant development in recent years. He refers to the fact that he and others have worked on marketing Latibær abroad and those issues will be well under way. “Latibær is conceived in four units, all of which are in development at the same time but have come a long way. It is Latibær as a stage work, a cartoon, a hand puppet that kids can play with and a three-dimensional film that is made in a similar way to Toy Story. The characters have therefore changed somewhat in this development and have become clearer. The first performance of Latibær was a kind of introduction to the characters and their situation, the environment in which they lived. Now we have gone a step further and in this show, the story takes center stage as the characters need less introduction.”
Sigurður says that it is a fun experience to deal with the staging of a children’s play. “I have not done it before but I actually played in quite a few of them and I have that experience. I am also staging for the first time here at the Great Stage of the National Theater and it is a completely new experience for me. This show is technically quite complex, lighting is used a lot and all kinds of tricks in staging, e.g. a balloon floats over the stage.” Magnús says it is an honor for him and Latibær to appear at the National Theater. “Of course I am very proud of that.” Sigurður adds that he believes that the children appreciate such a lively presentation of the material. “The music and the dances are of course very important and Máni Svavarsson has composed very fun and catchy music. It all needs to be connected so that it becomes a light and fun show. The message is there, but first and foremost: the children should have fun during the show. Then it’s good if the material raises some questions that the parents can discuss with the children afterwards. “
Actors in Latibær are Stefán Karl Stefánsson, Magnús Ólafsson, Lilja Guðrún Þorvaldsdóttir, Örn Árnason, Steinn Armann Magnússon, Magnús Scheving, Linda Ásgeirsdóttir, Vigdís Gunnarsdóttir, Kjartan Guðjónsson, Rúnar Freyr Gíslason, Baldur Trausti Hreinsson, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.
The lyrics are composed by Karl Ágúst Úlfsson, the choreographer is Astrós Gunnarsdóttir, the puppet direction is in the hands of Guðmundur Þórs Kárason and the lighting is designed by Guðbrandur Ægi. The premiere is today at 17.00.