The Shadow

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Teater TT: The Shadow           

TorkildLindebjergin a teasing struggle with the shadows. Photo: Troels Lindebjerg
Delightful shadow struggles
It becomes Torkild Lindebjerg to rediscover the poetic, non-verbal clown and to pair him with modern video and animation technology. That has resulted in a funny and meaningful identity struggle.

The light is tricky. A little light bulb hanging from the ceiling starts flashing on and off. The little, neutrally dressed man in a suit on the stage wants to fix it. But it is difficult. The job at hand is not as easy as that – and this is lucky because when the light from the bulb is suddenly connected with whether piano trills sound or not, and when the flashes seem to depend on the exact position of the ladder’s legs on the floor and on how much they touch the floor – then there’s magic in the air.
The audience, both young and old, are

chuckling wonderfully and during the play children’s comments are being strewn as lovely “yes-this-is-delightful” intimations. “Wharw!”, “Awesome!” and, just as we are getting close to the final scene, a distinct, exact and matter-of-fact noting: “This is the end”.

Mischievous shadow

The teasing magic and the unpredictable continue. Almost as a chemical nuclear reaction. Because the little man is given a shadow. A copy of himself just there, behind the wall-to-wall video animation screen in front of which Torkild Lindebjerg’s little man is standing, sitting and running and which he, now and then, slips behind – to get a ladder.
In the beginning, the shadow is mirroring himself, but – and this is the fun and interesting part – it also gradually starts to live its own life. The shadow becomes someone who is walking its own ways. In the exact opposite direction – but, believe it or not, also straight up into the air! The shadow also starts to blow to life flapping eagles, gigantic elephants and a formidable, blood-dripping ghost. It is duplicated, multiplicated and much more.
Through the entirely wordless episodes with a man and his shadow, Teater TT succeeds in telling us a fine story about how bothersome it may be to have to reconcile oneself with unknown sides of oneself that one would spontaneously prefer to avoid.

'The Shadow, which is the brief and exact name of the play, points to the dangers and possibilities found in all and everything. And, in its own August-the-Clown manner, it tells us that it is all about fighting the fights and reconciling oneself with the hurdles and opposition arising inside and in front of each one of us.

A delicate balance

In the shadow play and the animations that are swarming the scene, the theatre succeeds in depicting quite a few dilemmas and issues. When is a person one and alone, and when is a person two, either together or divided into more persons? When is a person invisible to oneself, when has a person disappeared or been bombed completely into pieces?
'The Shadow' is packed with advanced video technology and ingenious animations. At one point in time, about three-fourths through the play, the shadowing seems to culminate in pictures that are constantly taking on new and more and more technically wild forms.
While watching the play, I inevitably associated it with a computer game, which would be okay as long as there is no tendency to try to do everything that is technologically possible. The act of impressing and doing what is technically possible to impress the audience by these means or out of sheer technological enthusiasm is just about to take over. Or, perhaps, this could also be perceived as part of the shadow’s teasing?
But, these are merely minor ponderings and reservations about a performance that keeps one’s attention delightfully arrested – and this is the case all the way around. Children and adults alike are enjoying the play and will presumably do so almost anywhere – at any time.
A really successful meeting between the poetic clown of the young Lindebjerg and a skilled use of modern animation and video technology that is filled with sensibility.