Brack

From the production From Hedda Gabler

Brack was one of the puppets in Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre)'s production Hedda Gabler, based on the play by Henrik Ibsen. The adaptation for puppetry was done by Bjørg Vindsetmo. Lisbeth Narud did the stage design, puppet design and puppet making. Shadow puppets were made by Aage Schou, whereas Barthold Halle directed the production. It opened August 23, 1994, at Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre)'s puppet theatre.

Information

(Objekt ID 102319)
Object type Puppet
Production date August 23, 1994
Category Other figures
Size Approximately 115 centimetres tall
License

Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre).

Copyright.

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In the playbill for the production, the following, among other things, is written: "Our puppet maker, Lisbeth Narud, started drawing at an early stage of the process, and she changed her drawings as discussions progressed. Two days before she was to show her final drawings, she asked for a short postponement, threw away all she had made, and came up with something new, which was what we had imagined, plus something else of her own. This was a process, as the rehearsals as a whole are. At the time of writing, we are not yet halfway into the work, and we do not really know where we will end up. But we do hope for an exciting meeting with you." This was written by director Barthold Halle. 

In the same article, Halle also wrote: "All in all, the puppets must be finished when rehearsals start. This means that many important choices are made at an early time. The puppets do not change beyond being seen with new eyes by the spectators, as the situations in the play change. But the puppets have an outside as a description of their insides, of their character traits."

The role of Brack was played by Per Skjølsvik.

Sceneweb refers to the other puppets registered from the production. These are: Hedda Tesman (Gabler), Jørgen Tesman AKA George Tesman, Eilert Løvborg, Mrs. Elvsted and Miss Juliane Tesman.

SOURCES:

Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre). Playbill.

Wang, Ragnhild and Vibeke Helgesen: Den magiske hånd. Dukkespill og figurteater gjennom tidene (literally: The magic hand. Puppetry throughout the ages). Pax forlag, Oslo 2000: (321).

Ånd i hanske, Issue 3/4, 1994.

Donated by: Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre). Knut Wiulsrød.

Transported 01.07.2020.

Types of materiale

The puppet Brack can almost be compared to a reptile, with a large head and a mouth that could be opened and shut. The puppet had a joint at its neck, allowing for mobility in the head. In the large mouth, there was a green tongue, long and pointed. The head was likely cut from Styrofoam or another light plastic material, fortified with cotton gauze and glue. In addition to long, narrow and slanted eyes, the puppet had a large and bulky nose with a little moustache beneath it.

The long snake-like body became more narrow and pointed at the end. Brack was dressed in a tailcoat over a brocade vest in gold, with a white shirt beneath the vest. The long tail was sewn from electric green velvet.

Construction/technique

"The reptile" Brack had a handle back at his head, which the puppeteer could hold and steer him by. The large mouth could be opened and shut by the same hand holding the handle at the back of the puppet's head.

There were joints at the neck, and a steering rod further down the reptile's body. With this rod, the puppeteer could control the movements of the body and the tail. There may have been spiral elements in parts of the body, to make it even more movable.

Other

Anne Helgesen writes the following in an article titled Hurra (literally: Hooray):

"These are demanding roles for puppeteers. The ensemble must reach to manage, and they do - all of them. There is still reason to emphasise Kjersti Germeten as the pure and aristocratic Hedda and Per Skjølsvik as the creepy, nasty lawyer Brack. The interaction between the two when Brack lets his nasty snake-like body surround Hedda, is a delight even as one is disturbed by the terrible in it."

Ånd i hanske, Issue 3/4 -1994:32. 

Ragnhild Wang and Vibeke Helgesen write:

"There were visiting performances in Bergen and in St. Petersburg at Baltic Festival the summer of 1996, where Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre)'s puppet theatre was the only one represented with puppetry, among ordinary staged theatre. (...) The jury rewarded Lisbeth Narud an award for best stage design, an award only given when the concept also in other regards held the highest quality."

Den magiske hånd. Dukkespill og figurteater gjennom tidene (literally: The magic hand. Puppetry throughout the ages). Pax forlag, Oslo (2000: 312-314).

Affiliations
Lisbeth Narud (person) – Stage designer, Designer, Puppet Maker
Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre) (organization) – Creator, Creator
Hedda Gabler (production) – Other figures