Magazine article American Theatre

A Truck, a Chicken and an egg.(A Sonatina)(Brief Article)

Magazine article American Theatre

A Truck, a Chicken and an egg.(A Sonatina)(Brief Article)

Article excerpt

The Milk International Children's Festival of the Arts, in Toronto, will showcase A Sonatina, a reinvention of the "Little Red Riding Hood" fairytale by Denmark's Gruppe 38. The show runs in Toronto May 19-26.

DENMARK'S GRUPPE 38, KNOWN FOR clever and challenging creations for children, has turned "Little Red Riding Hood" into a theatrical production that is grabbing international attention. Tided A Sonatina, this gripping play-within-a-play is set in an Italian pickup truck and stars a live chicken and a newly laid egg.

Adapted from the famous Grimm fairy tale, A Sonatina is one of the highlights of the 2002 Milk International Children's Festival of the Arts in Toronto. Each year, artistic director Kris Morden invites over a dozen companies from around the world to perform for thousands of school children and families at the city's Harbourfront Centre. "It is my goal to present the most interesting and innovative theatre for young audiences from around the world," Morden says. "Although I continue to explore the children's theatre environment in different countries, I have to admit that I find myself returning to Denmark year after year.

Indeed, Danish children's theatre is regarded as some of the most inventive in the world. In A Sonatina, the cast, like a trio of wandering troubadours, transforms their flatbed-truck home into an ingenious puzzle of nooks and crannies. A live hen struts about on the hay-strewn cargo bed as actress and co-director Bodil Ailing encourages the creature to welcome the audience. After a few purposefully missed cues and a gag with an egg timer, the hen, who turns out to be Red Riding Hood's mother, produces the story's heroine: the egg. The remainder of the cast is soon introduced: Grandma is a bifocal-wearing potato; the wolf is a sinister potato-masher; and the hunter is a swashbuckling flyswatter. …

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