How gloves become pig ears

Puppets play all the animal roles at 'Hans in Luck'

In our interview with director Alexandra Pape, we learned that in the DOMINO – DomStufen-Festspiele für die Kleinen production of Hans in Luck, all the necessary animal roles, from horse and cow to pig and goose, are played by puppets. To do this, she brought on board professionally trained puppeteer Caspar Bankert, who can breathe life into the objects.

Did the puppets already exist?

No, we didn't have any ready-made animal puppets and didn't want to buy them. In January, together with set designer Tamara Stotz and Caspar Bankert, we went to the props depot of the Theater Erfurt to look for suitable props for our animal figures, and we found more than what we were looking for.

How do the assembled animal figures work, how can they be moved and how do they seem to come to life when you play with them?

To find out, we first had to go through all the material and decide what would be the best and quickest to assemble into an animal figure. The mirrors in the ballet hall were perfect for this during the last two weeks of rehearsals. Caspar Bankert always had a watchful eye and plenty of tips on how to coordinate the movements of the puppets, which were provisionally assembled from props, so that they looked like living animals. In particular, the rapid change from one animal role to another, which accompanies each change, makes for a lot of fun and dynamism on stage. In addition to singer Candela Gotelli, who lends her voice to the Cow, Pig and Goose, Casper Bankert will be on stage as 'Henchman', Konstantin Ingenpaß as 'Hans' and Aaron Eunhyuk Lee as 'Master', who will also be in action as a puppeteer.

As a director, what demands do you make on your production?

In my production I try to make the music and the story accessible to a young audience. To do this, I rely on a strong visual language. It is also important to me and to everyone involved that the singing is easy to understand. Even the musicians wear costumes and become part of the action on stage. You can see them making music in the workshop next to the smithy, and not only classical orchestral instruments are used. In a way, the music is the narrator of this story; it guides us through this fairy tale, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes onomatopoeic, and always with the most beautiful melodies.

We would like to thank you for the exciting interview and warmly invite all festival fans, young and old, to experience the DOMINO - DomStufen-Festspiele für die Kleinen on the Domplatz from 10 August 2024. Tickets and more information about the DOMINO Expedition are available from our visitor service and online.

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Foto: Steffi Becker | Alexandra Pape (Regie)