Open the Owl 12+

Intermedia interpretation of The Castle of Owls (1936)

Franz Pocci, Célia Houdart / Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, TJP – Centre Dramatique National d’Alsace / 50 min

The performance brings back to stage the miniature characters from the performance Sovji grad (The Owl Castle), created by the Slovenian puppeteer Milan Klemenčič back in 1936. Renowned French director Renaud Herbin found the inspiration for the performance in the storage of the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, where he was charmed by the miniature marionettes designed by the famous pioneer of Slovenian puppetry. By using Klemenčič's marionette he thus put the tradition of puppetry art into the context of contemporary performance practices. Contemporary French novelist Célia Houdart upgraded Pocci's story, which deals with issues such as metamorphosis, ruse and deception, in the spirit of a contemporary philosophical tale. Its central character is the knight Kauzenveit, who has been turned into an owl. He will only regain his human form when he finds someone willing to pluck out all his feathers in order to fulfil his own wishes. He runs into the cunning Kasperl, who makes a wish to become a minister. The cursed knight must use his feathers to constantly save Kasperl from quite a few complicated situations. All until the last feather is plucked out.

In this performance, audiences are challenged to reconsider their attitude towards stage, illusion and reality. The spectator's gaze shifts from the Klemenčič's miniature stage beyond the decor, where it is not usually allowed. Space opens up, the viewer’s gaze transforms, and perspectives multiply, following the rhythm of movement of cameras and video projections. The spectator's relation towards the occurring action is entirely optional, everyone in the audience can choose their viewing angle, which can change during the performance and thus create individual stage interpretations of the story. The only thing the spectator has to do is to take a certain position in the space and trust his or her ability to connect with the seen image or movement.


Open the Owl <em>Photo: Jaka Varmuž</em>
Open the Owl Photo: Jaka Varmuž
Open the Owl <em>Photo: Jaka Varmuž</em>
Open the Owl Photo: Jaka Varmuž
Open the Owl <em>Photo: Jaka Varmuž</em>
Open the Owl Photo: Jaka Varmuž

Crew and cast

Director Renaud Herbin

Dramaturge Mateja Bizjak Petit

Speech advisor Metka Damjan

Set designer Mathias Baudry

Lighting designer Fanny Bruschi

Art advisor Nino Laisné

Composer Morgan Daguenet

Stage manager and sound desiger Luka Bernetič

Actors Maja Kunšič, Iztok Lužar