ABOUT FIGURETHEATRE - by Kirsti Ladegård


Figuretheatre is a combination of being both a plastic and a dramatic form.

Figuretheatre is not necessarily puppet theatre but it can be.

Figuretheatre focuses on the actor as manipulator In combining the body and the object, a number of paradoxical issues are raised:

-How can these two means of being: the object and the actor articulate themselves -whilst both forms in their origin are mutually exclusive?

-Can the combination of the object and the actor create a reciprocal value?

-How is it possible to be together with the object and simultaneously invisible? Is there a way of being invisible without being distant?

In order to find an organic quality in the relationship between the object and the actor it is necessary to examine how the actor can formulate their physical body in relation to how their body should be understood as an image, as the performance. In Figuretheatre the energy circulates in a triangle: player-object-public. It's a complex stream of information which requires precise articulation, on the part of the player in order to lead the publics focus. It's the player who through each action on the stage decides where the publics attention is directed: is it, to the player, the object itself, or the relation between the two?

At the same time, the player directs the interchange between being present, and being distant, invisible and visible: who manipulates who? And when?

The players body is deeply involved with the object, risking both their own body and the image of that body in order to give the object life. In return the object gives an alertness and a recognition. The object organises the images of the body in such a way the images themselves become objects, and therefore an object for desire.

The puppets are artificial actors, in themselves symbols for longing after an independent identity, after an ego, it doesn't have...

The puppet has no private life. It is completely given over to the mask, the role, it is given. It has no freedom. It is locked into its body, in its fixed expression, which the puppet maker has given it, for ever...

The puppets body touches us, with its longing to live. It reminds us of our own longing to live, and therefore also of death; a death which modern man has almost managed to extinguish.