ABOUT THE PLAY
Rudolf is a bat – he has wings and can fly, but only at night. He lives in a tower with his good friend Clara, who is… a witch. One night Rudolph asks Clara to turn him into… an ordinary mouse! He gives up his wings and begins to live another life. However, will Rudolf be able to find what he sought among the people and ordinary mice?
“I Want to Be Normal” is a romantic story of a human’s eternal search for happiness. For someone, happiness is to have enough food and a home, for someone else it is to be free, or to feel loved, and yet for others happiness is to have friends and to help those who need help. Being normal does not mean to be like the rest. It’s normal to feel happy. Happiness has many faces, and it can only be felt with the heart!
Dear little and a bit bigger guests, this story is funny, but it is also a little sad. It talks about the road that we all need to go in order to find our place in the world. That’s what Rudolf is doing while searching for happiness. In this fairy tale you will see how people look in the eyes of mice, but also what is the difference between rats and mice. We hope you will notice that many heroes of our fairy tale look exactly like people!
Todor Valov, Director
Director: Todor Valov
Translation from Bulgarian: Milica Redžić Vulević
Scenography, Puppets and Costumes: Emelijana Toteva
Scene Assistance: Kasim Prguda
Puppet Construction: Petar Čekurov, Emilija Kovačeva, Ava Kovačeva, Nikolina Staneva and Evgenija Lačeva
Scenography Construction: Sava Stoimenov, Anđelo Andonov and Mirsad Bijedić
Music: Plamen Mirčev Mirona
Master of Sound and Lighting: Amer Ćatić
Costume Tailor: Mensur Kazazić
Nedžad Maksumić – The Bat Rudolf
Diana Ondelj Maksumić – The Witch Clara, The Woman
Nermina Denjo – The Rat Franz, The Mouse Greta, The Woman
Serđo Radoš – The Rat Fritz, The Cat Sigfried, The Ghost
The play “I Want to Be Normal“, realized in copperation with Bulgarian artists, places on the stage a core problem of renouncing one’s identity and being someone else due to belief that the transition to another personality would provide a better possibility for self-assertion, wider expansion of life power and reaching the upper social levels and higher self-esteem. The twist somewhat resembles a fairytale: the Bat (Rudolf) wants to become a real mouse. A witch who lives in her vicious castle has the power of transforming beings from their natural state to the state of the Other. So, the Bat becomes a real mouse and encounters a completely different life experience which he can not survive and thus lives in constant misunderstanding with the environment. And when he becomes fed up with all that, he again addresses his friend, the Witch, and ask her to return him to the original state. The lessen is obvious, however it is acquired not by empty and dull advising, but by personal temptations and new experiences: one should remain faithful to oneself, and find the strength for one’s own life self-assertion within the framework of one’s own being. In the setting of this drama, the director Todor Valov did not seek to make this cognitive layer a primary goal of his setting; he was interested in the truth of the main character’s disorientation while being in the alien space of temptation, and the comic aspect that was freed from such unusual situations.
The main character, The Bat Rudolf, was interpreted by Nedžad Maksumić. Perhaps this actor was dealing with a special temptation: he has constantly been on the verge to use his intellectual potential to escape from the director’s postulates and to wander into the space of more complex meanings and the deeper values of theatrical speech. Therefore, we were under the impression that there was a certain restraint in his play; he did not attempt to hide the comic circles but he shaped them to the extent that was enough for the other actors of the play to enter into these twists. In accordance with this intent, Diana Ondelj Maksumić sought in her heroes – the Witch Clara and the Woman – the lyrical spirit that enabled the comedy of the twist to be freed from the constructive aspect on which the director Valov insisted, thus making the situations light and airy, which will enable this play to live long enough on the stage of this theater. Between these two aspects of play organization by Nedžad Maksumić and Diana Ondelj Maksumić, Nermina Denjo built in her own play with her triple engagement – she interpreted the Rat Franz, the Mouse Greta and the Woman – as well as Serđo Radoš, who, alternatively with Nermina Denjo, interpreted the Rat Fritz and also his own roles, the Cat Sigfried and the Ghost.
Nevertheless, the most impressive part was the animation of puppets in the play. Each movement was well-versed and in line with the expected natural action in a given situation, but also with the mild addition of the necessary hyperbole to make the comic effect more powerful and impressive enough to find its echo in the theater. The puppets and set designs are plastic and built on stylizations that have eliminated mere coincidence and sought out the lyrical softness that is harmonized with the overall visual aspect of the performance as a whole. The costumes, however, did not possess such a form of stylization; they were highly descriptive and made it difficult to imagine the plasticity of performance that was accomplished by other means.