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 ...
Glanni glæpur í Latabæ in the The National Theater (Þjóðleikhúsið)
Latibær and the Sports Elf, the creation of aerobics champion Magnús Scheving, broke through with the youngest generation of spectators when the play was staged at Loftkastalinn Theater two years ago. Well-known characters from the children’s adventure and cartoon-like show appeared on stage and gave the children a message about healthy diet and exercise. The National Theater show is a logical sequel to that show, the message is essentially the same, but it can be said that the satire here is more targeted, i.e. it focuses not only on tackling unhealthy diets and laziness, but especially the nutritional supplement powder that has gripped the nation in recent months.
The message is clear in the play, but it is not complicated for the children, because they do not set any conditions to understand it. They understand well the simple storyline of the play: In the town where everyone cultivates their garden and start the day with gymnastics, a bad man comes under false pretenses and most of the townspeople adjust their behavior accordingly. Glanni glæpur, or Rikki ríki as he calls himself, doesn’t have to talk long to the townspeople until they ditch the good values and healthy lifestyles the sports elf taught them in the past. In a short time, Glanni glæpur destroys and poisons the people’s crops and enslaves them by producing powder. But in the end, the Sports elf comes back, the townspeople arrest the criminal and the good living habits return.
This simple story of the conflict of good and evil, right and wrong seemed to appeal well to the young audience who responded well when their participation was demanded (more could have been said about that). For an adult spectator, this may have been less exciting – but the play was not made for them.
The stage setting and costumes are based on cartoons and stories that the children know, the play is spiced up with dances and songs and fun sound effects, which will be more compatible with the play. Magnús Scheving went hand-in-hand in sports and jumped around the stage and the actors all stood out.
The most memorable were Steinn Armann Magnússon, in the role of Siggi sæti superman, Valdís Gunnarsdóttir, in the role of Halla hrekkjusvín Longstocking, and Stefán Karl Stefánsson, in the role of Glanni glæpur. Other actors, such as Magnús Ólafsson, Lijja Guðrún Þorvaldsdóttir, Örn Arnason and Kjartan Guðjónsson, showed their excellent comedy acting but that did not come as a surprise. This is a show that most children should enjoy and does not spoil the simple and clear message. But perhaps it does not leave too much for a deeper thought.
Glanni glæpur í Latabæ by Magnús Scheving and Sigurður Sigurjónsson. Author of lyrics: Karl Ágtíst TJlfsson. Director: Sigurður Sigin jónssoii. Actors: Baldur Trausl.i Hreinsson, Kjartan Guðjónsson, Lilja Guðrún Þorvaldsdóttir, Linda Asgeirsdóttir, Magnús Ólnfsson, Magnús Scheving, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Rúnar Freyr Gíslason, Stefán Karl Stefánsson, Steinn Ármann Magnússon, Vigdfs Gunnarsdóttir and Örn Árnason. Set and costumes: Snorri Freyr Hilmarsson. Lighting design: Guðbrandur Ægir Asbjörnsson. Dance author: Ástrós Gunnarsdóttir. Author and performer of music: Máni Svavarsson. Puppetry: Guðmundur Þór Kárason. The big stage on September 30th
Review by Soffía Auður Bírgisdóttir