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 inhabitants of Latibær are very similar to other Icelanders. They can be hardworking, cultivate their garden and exercise, but it is also relatively easy to mislead them and make them believe that artificial magic solutions are actually much more suitable. For them it is not necessary to have, just pay! Unscrupulous neighbors know this very well and Glanni glæpur, who appeared on a good day in Latibær in the disguise of Rikki ríki, is exactly like that. He needs to get rid of supplies of cans that have arrived before the last day of sale, and when the townspeople, who are literally radiant with health, do not let themselves be fooled, he takes action.
Glanna not only succeeds in praising the cans but also improves them and has a production of so-called energy powder (which actually has the opposite effect) and soon this incorrigible villain has reached the highest records in Latabær. He’s very happy when Halla hrekkjusvín and Solla stirða are put in jail for incompetence that he has committed or organized and the joy does not diminish when the old mayor is fired and he is installed in his place instead. But Glanni glæpur alias Rikki riki forgets that he could expect the Sports elf, who is a special friend of Latibær, who now rushes to the scene…
This new stage version of the life in Latibær is simple and the message is clear. The progress is not always logical rather than in fairy tales and the Sports elf Magnús Scheving appears like an unexpected power when needed. Personally, I thought the people of Latibær were unnecessarily stupid and “poor” as the children would say, but it is probably done deliberately because otherwise there would be little need for the Sports elf. But Sigurður Sigurjónsson’s setting of the play is imaginative and in four parts. Snorri Freys Hilmarsson’s hilarious play refers directly to the Walt Disney cartoons and this reference is further emphasized in costumes, prostheses and influences. The rooster that takes part in the show, on the other hand, is more reminiscent of the Pranksters, but still does well in this colorful environment. Máni Svavarsson’s music was light and catchy and went well with the lyrics.
A total of twelve actors take part in the show. Everyone does their part with splendor, but since the inhabitants of Latibær are rather types than characters, there is not much theatrical touch. The main character traits are clearly marked in the play and costumes and the weight of the characters is incredibly even. The only one who stands out from the crowd is Glanni glæpur played by Stefán Karl Stefánsson. Glanni is, of course, a villain of the worst kind, but he must convince the people of Latibær to the contrary, if he is to succeed in his mission. He must therefore be all at once, frightening, icy and charming. The role was tailor-made for Stefán Karl and he perfected the connection to the world of cartoons with an unparalleled body movement.
Nothing has been spared to make this installation the most impressive. The result is a colorful and refreshing show where the entertainment value is emphasized.
The National Theater shows:
Glanni glæpur in Latibær by Magnús Scheving and Sigurður Sigurjónsson
Lyricist: Karl Ágúst Úlfsson
Choreographer: Ástrós Gunnarsdóttir
Description: Guðbrandur Ægir Ásbjörnsson
Puppetry and puppetry: Guðnuindui Þór Kárason
Music: Máni Svavarsson
Set and costumes: Snorri Freyr Hilmarsson
Directed by: Sigurður Sigurjónsson
Review by Halldóra Friðjónsdóttir