Football in puppet theatre? – Is that even possible?

by | Jun 12, 2021 | Raise the curtain

It exists and is without question possible! 

It was completely unexpected when we saw the play for the first time. Produced by  Flunker productions: “Vollpfosten”- the twits.  A football team, showing cohesion, mockery,  helplessness and a real friendship – in short: a terrific football story with 16 puppets, one player and a triple-sided football.

What the player Matthias Ludwig in the white and blue jersey tells and plays is a touching story of its own concentrating on a group of football-loving children who first play in a team and then, reorganised, against each other. That’s already a challenge for human relationships.

Goalkeeper Mütze and star striker Molle like each other very much after all

Matthias Ludwig with his team – © Rainer Boehme /Flunkerproduktionen

Molle and Mütze in different teams?? And Mütze only recently recovered… to some extent after an accident. He crashed into one of the posts of the goal while jumping for the ball.  After spending a long time in hospital followed by rehabilitation – his brain is no longer quite what it once was.  Nonetheless, battling through mockery with his brain damage and everyone wanting to get rid of him, Molle stands by him. He trains until he again an effective goalie, and then after all that, Molle is in the opposing team and needs goals so that they can move up a league …The boys look like old-fashioned nursery doll TV stars, colourful, crazy and sloppy; Mütze sometimes looks like his player, who always stands beside him, who apologises to him for the painful full-blown accident scene, which has to be played again and again because it’s part of the story! This is also the player who plays Mütze as an actor at the beginning.  There’s an unnerving realisation that something serious must have happened …

And the three-sided football stars in the leading role

Matthias Ludwig – © Rainer Böhme/flunkerproduktionen

The secret leading role, the one which says nothing, around which everything revolves and without which nothing works – the one that exists in almost every puppet theatre play – is the football! Sometimes it is small, lively and funny, sometimes grotesquely large…as big as the children, an object of discussion, an object of strategy; but it can also be huge, almost impossible for Mütze, the puppet, and Mütze, the actor, to handle. It cannot be overlooked and apparently means everything in this production. But what it can’t do is roll over the friendship between Molle and Mütze.

Claudia Engel put together the weird crew, built Molle and Mütze and the stage set for the whole play. Nina Stammer sewed the various jerseys. It appeared in Lübeck during the series “Junges Figurentheater” in July 2016.

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