Review of THE FOOL - AN AVANT GARDE CABARET
Atonal, provocative - and freshly fried sausages
Immediately - while the audience finds their seats - we see the faces of the 3 performing musicians. They stare from the back wall, down at us in giant close-ups. A little blink of an eye. One eats a banana, one a little liquorice, otherwise it is an expressionless stare into the camera - and at us. Then one face begins to giggle, the next follows and soon a cascade of laughter rolls across the audience.
The light on the stage intensifies. COURT! Between the two grand pianos and the other musical instruments, lies a sleeping lady in an iron bed. The three wall portraits have now come on stage, as trio Zoom, wearing rococo costumes. The bed lady has got up while the cast crowds in and out of the stage.
The red lady (Tanja Zapolski) has sat down to the keys. The saxophonist, Stefan Baur, has snatched his instrument and Matias Escudero Selbæk is now ready by the percussion.
Ready for what? For now, hat and glasses must be kept on. Avantgarde Cabaret the Fool, is the name of the performance at the Opera's Takkelloft. Born out of the early 20th century revolt against traditional bourgeois music. Arnold Schønberg with his 12-tone revolution, June Paik and John Cage later, both members of the artist group Fluxus, who reached their ultimate revolt by smashing the grand piano. Nor should Per Nørgaard, Niels Viggo Bengtson, be forgotten, to now stay with some of our own avant-garde. Here you are not afraid to mix styles and instruments, beat and mistreat them - put in a pot, a shout, a small dog (!) - and an English mezzo-soprano, Lore Lixenberg - who has staged the Fool.
Four premieres by prominent European composers, with breadth. Inspiration from Shakespeare's sonnets, the cow's fear of the percussion knife, the shame of being a boy and up to "You Tube mania". Admittedly, I was confused. Who is singing? A beautiful trained professional female voice, soon atonal, soon lyrical, soon ... well, that's when the lady down in the 3rd row. And if I prick up my ears: No Hear, No Speak. And the eyes: on the back wall a projection of a forest where cats and foxes (maybe) slip around between the trunks. We are in the middle of the Shakespeare quotes, one senses. Set to sound by Helmut Oehring.
I have it easier with the cow, in Rolf Hind's composition. It has two legs in front and two behind - and is sacred to the Hindus, it is sung. A ruminating close-up of the cow, our friend. All the while singing and music alternate between aggression and gentleness, we follow the calf to the butcher's bench - and hey, here in the semi-darkness we catch a glimpse of a young girl who, with a blaze on the frying pans, is cooking the bull. Wildly and atonally, the session ends with the cow's death and a shout to the audience: THEN there are fried sausages, who wants a bite?
After the sausage and the interval, there is room for laughter. Niels Rønsholt has composed "Shame" a symphony about a boy who has shat in his pants. This time in Danish, recited, sung, made music - sometimes between the embarrassing, even completely poetic, about the poor boy's ailments. I'm so ugly, so stupid ... and even with my pants full, to a dissolved fragmented picture page of a boy.
And then to the climax. Fuck, fuck, fuck where it goes ... many hundreds, yes maybe a thousand times the swear word is repeated. Rhythmic, shouting. Soon it is us the audience, soon the politicians. Why are politicians full of lies - because we allow it, jazz / shouting Lore Lixenberg through the ultra-modern The Anger Demon by Richard Thomas. And here we have the audacity and closeness that the word cabaret had put us in view. A performance art like clowns and at the same time will be taken seriously.
The Fool is a show that demands a lot from the musicians - and maybe even more from the audience. Confessed, I was confused, annoyed, provoked - but also (in between) curiously uplifted. But that was precisely then, a hundred years ago, the goal of the rebels. This is probably also the case today - so with that the Fool has to a certain extent reached its goal, as well as in fragments to give a glimpse of comedy and seriousness.
The Fool - An Avantgarde Cabaret
The Royal Theater
Reviewed 28/4 2016, 12:35 PM
by Uffe Stormgaard
Runs through 30/4 2016
Instructor: Lore Lixenberg
Cast: Tanja Zapolski, Matias Seibæk, and Stefan Baur
Manuscript: Lore Lixenberg & Trio ZOOM
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