Icelandic puppeteer Bernd Ogrodnik in a “Metamorphosis” show vignette called “Mother and Earth.” (Submitted photo: EDDI).

ENTERTAINMENT

Prominent puppeteer coming to Surrey with ‘Metamorphosis’ show for adults

Iceland’s Bernd Ogrodnik to perform at Centre Stage theatre this month

A prominent figure in the world of puppetry will play a Surrey theatre with Metamorphosis, a show for adults performed by Iceland’s Bernd Ogrodnik.

The production, described as “an imaginative and poignant series of vignettes that range from the trivial to the metaphysical,” hits city hall’s Centre Stage venue on the evening of Wednesday, March 13, in another Surrey Civic Theatres presentation.

The 90-minute show aims to explore “the nature of our existence, inviting audience members to change how they perceive the objects of their everyday lives.”

Metamorphosis brings an eclectic cast of characters to life, including hand-carved marionettes, rod puppets and some created from silk scarves.

Set on a minimalistic black stage, the 10 vignettes journey from one story to the next, “captivating audiences through a deeply meditative atmosphere,” according to a release from Toronto-based Murray Paterson Marketing Group. “The presentation, which includes some mature content, offers a contemplative reflection on the varied aspects of the human experience.”

Ogrodnik is the artistic director and co-founder of Iceland-based Worlds of Puppets.

“There is a surreal quality inherent in puppetry,” he says. “When the audience actively contributes to the process of bringing puppets to life, breathing these fragile figures into existence, they have the capacity to express our deepest emotions, joys, and fears; thereby, creating magic and provoking thought.”

Neil Scott, cultural production co-ordinator for Surrey’s Centre Stage, describes Metamorphosis as “a delight for the senses. (Ogrodnik’s) series of original short stories is poetry in motion — a theatrical expression of the nuances of our lives from the ordinary to the sublime. It encourages us to question not just what we see, but how we see it.”

Originally commissioned in 2006 by the National Theatre of Iceland for adult audiences, Metamorphosis has toured the world extensively and comes to Canada for the first time this winter.

Most of the vignettes are presented in silence, but three of them — “A Boy and a Horse,” “The Last Dance,” and “Mother Earth” — are set to music, including Gabriel Faure’s “In Paradisum,” Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” and instrumental melodies composed and performed live by Ogrodnik.

Born in Germany in 1961, Ogrodnik has been fascinated with “the magical sets and endearing strength of wooden characters” since he was a boy. He left his home country at age 18 and set out to study a range of creative pursuits, including music, martial arts, woodworking and illustration, before returning to his first passion, puppetry.

In Iceland, he has built an “internationally-lauded career in puppetry” over the past three decades, co-founding Iceland’s Center for Puppetry Arts and serving as master puppeteer with the National Theatre of Iceland.

Metamorphosis is intended for audience members aged 16 and over. Tickets for the March 13 show at Centre Stage (13450 104th Ave.) are $25/$35 each, with a start time of 7:30 p.m. For details, visit tickets.surrey.ca or call 604-501-5566.

• RELATED STORIES:

‘Surrey Spectacular’ series features puppet show, music and more this year.

‘Golden Girls’-inspired puppet show a hot ticket in Surrey, from Feb. 7.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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