Jørgen Tesman AKA George Tesman

From the production From Hedda Gabler

Jørgen Tesman AKA George Tesman (the most common name in English translations of the play) was one of the main 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 103211)
Object type Puppet
Production date August 23, 1994
Category Bunraku style puppet
Size Approximately 105 centimetres tall
License

Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre).

Copyright.

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According to Ragnhild Wang and Vibeke Helgesen Tesman was "a large-mouthed dog with squinting eyes". They write that an expressive form was chosen. "The text was to be taken seriously, with all the usual respect for the word, but the relationships in the acting were drawn further than what had been possible to imagine. This demanded a puppet maker with particular talent and daring, and Lisbeth Narud got the assignment." She chose to give the puppets animal-like traits.  

The role of Jørgen Tesman AKA George Tesman was played by Knut Wiulsrød.

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

SOURCES:

Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre).

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).

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

Transported 01.07.2020.

Types of materiale

The head of Tesman was shaped from Styrofoam or a similar plastic material. After this, it was fortified with cotton gauze and glue. The head was oversized in proportion to the rest of the body. 

Lisbeth Narud, the stage designer, puppet designer and puppet maker, did not aim to make the surface of the face even or smooth, rather the opposite. She underlined wrinkles, stitches, and overlapping of textiles in the texture, all of which gave character to the face. The head was pear-shaped and the most narrow part was the forehead. The nose was large and bulky, and the eyes small, placed high up in the face. The hair was lump-like, sewn from white textile, and the mouth was like a large gap with visible teeth. The mouth could be moved. Except from the pupils, the head and the hair were white.

Tesman was dressed in a suit jacket and pants, which were patterned and ochre-coloured. Beneath the jacket, he wore a white shirt with a rust-coloured bow. On his feet, he had brown shoes.

Construction/technique

Jørgen Tesman AKA George Tesman was a Bunraku-inspired puppet. This means that the puppeteer held the puppet in front of his own body, and was partly hidden by it. Tesman had a solid handle at the back of his head, and another handle at his behind. This construction gave the puppeteer and the puppet a large range of movements to play with. There was likely no steering mechanism attached to the arms or legs. They seem to have moved freely with the puppet. The puppeteer could also use one of his arms to make gestures with the puppet's arms or legs.

The puppet had a movable joint in his head/neck. It had a stable or massive chest, and further it could be moved at its waist. The hips were stable, and there were joints between the thighs and the pelvis.

Other

Further, Ragnhild Wang and Vibeke Helgesen write: "The production attracted attention among those familiar with the play, and many expressed that the puppets made it possible really to see Ibsen's characters. The statement from the writer's grandson, Tancred Ibsen, was a warming compliment: "Old Henrik would have liked this".  

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: (312).

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