ZAMEK Culture Centre

A performance for all ages: Den stygge andungen / The Ugly Duckling by Manu Teater, dir. Thea Elisebeth Skallevold / Performed in Polish Sign Language, with Polish dubbing.

The Ugly Duckling for the little and big viewer is a tale of otherness, alienation and finding one’s own place and path in life. Join us for the amazing performance by Teater Manu, the only professional theatre in Norway (and one of the very few in the world!), whose stage idiom is sign language. The show will be performed in its Polish variant, with supplementary Polish dubbing.

Andersen wrote The Ugly Duckling in the mid-19th century, but the story and its message are still relevant after almost two centuries. By retelling the classic, the artists of Teater Manu highlight how well its themes relate to the present day: the sense of alienation of the individual in society, the courage to be different and the struggle for acceptance.

The performance is a beautiful and colourful story that children aged 5 to 10 will enjoy the most. Still, director Thea Elisabeth Skallevold's envisioned a show that would also be attractive to adults, so that enitre familes may share the experience: “Like all good fairy tales, this one appeals to both adults and children. It is easy to think that the sense of alienation, of being an outsider, disappears when we enter adulthood. Nothing could be further from the truth! That's why the performance is for adults and their children alike", Skallevold says.

Manu is the only professional company in Norway who use sign language on stage, though all their performances are also dubbed by actors who speak phonic language.

The group was founded in 2001. Based in Oslo, it operates today as a publicly funded institutional theatre. Their fame extends far beyond their native Norway.

Manu's vision is to become the world’s best theatre deriving from the culture and language of d/Deaf people as well as to protect and pass on this heritage. Over the years, they have created productions spanning all genres—from comedy and drama to stand-up—and all audiences: children, young people and adults. They often take advantage of contemporary drama, while many of their productions have tackled important and difficult social issues.

Teater Manu is not only a permanent company who develop and stage performances at their headquarters. The theatre tours Norway quite a lot, showing their pieces at various venues. Despite their extensive international contacts, they carefully select foreign partners, which is why we are so honoured that Manu has accepted an invitation from the ZAMEK Culture Centre! The theatre also engages in educational activities (workshops, professional training for actors). Moreover, this year has seen the launch of the Manu Ung (Manu Young) project: an ensemble that will prepare performances for and with young people, promoting theatrical interest and competence among young people who use sign language.

One of Manu's permanent line-up is Ipek D. Mehlum, an actress we will be able to admire in The Ugly Duckling. With more than 20 years of stage experience, the artist is a winner of numerous accolades. Most recently, she received the Rolf Gammleng Award as the 2022 Actor of the Year. She is joined in the piece by Julie Holst, a teacher and a gifted young actress discovered in a talent competition.

A performance for audiences of all ages (5+), presented in Polish sign language, with Polish dubbing.

Running time: approx. 50 minutes..

featuring: Ipek D. Mehlum, Julie Ane Holst
directed by: Thea Elisabeth Skallevold
dramaturgy: Sølvi R. Zuckermann
set design and costumes: Mari Hesjedal
music and sound production: Odin Staveland
props, technical production: Gøril Rostad
lighting: Truls S. Yggeseth
masks: Therese Lia

Den stygge andungen / The Ugly Duckling at ZAMEK Culture Centre in Poznań is presented as part of the 2022-23 performative arts project "Presence", financed under EEA and Norway Grants

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Projekt „Obecność” korzysta z dotacji w wysokości 290 000,00 euro z Islandii, Liechtensteinu i Norwegii za pośrednictwem funduszy EOG. Wspólnie działamy na rzecz Europy zielonej, konkurencyjnej i sprzyjającej integracji społecznej.

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