Duck, Death and Tulip a drama/puppet show will be staged in the city on July 28

Death is something most of us fear. Teaching us to accept the presence of Death in our life is Duck, Death and Tulip, a book by Wolf Erlbruch. Adapting the book on stage are Martina Couturier and Heiki Ikkola. The duo will be staging the play in the city on July 28. The drama titled Duck, Death and Tulip will be staged at Co-Bank Towers Hall, near Mascot Hall at 7 p.m. The play is brought to the city by Goethe Zentrum Trivandrum. Passes are available at the institute. Excerpts from an email interview with Martina.

Duck, Death and Tulip

Duck, Death and Tulip is a drama/puppet show for viewers aged between five and 99. It’s a family entertainer. There is live music to accompany the play. Duck lives a calm and quiet life by a lake when an unexpected guest shows up – Death.

While at first fearful of Death, Duck soon develops a friendship with Death. Death is a little sad when Duck meets her end, but that’s life. The production was one of the 10 most notable German children's theatre productions invited to the Augenblick mal festival (a Children and Young People Theatre festival) in Berlin in 2009 and winner of Icarus Festival in 2009.

On death

The secret, the mystery, behind death attracts children like a magnet. Their questions on death often render us helpless. Duck, Death and Tulip gives children a glimpse into this mystery. In this play, Duck meets and gets to know Death. She does not die immediately when death appears. She has time to live her life, remember her past and to contemplate her future. And she is not alone in the end when she dies; she is accompanied by love. Children will love Duck. They will understand that she is old and has died a natural death.

An adaptation to death

In Germany, most fables portray death as a malevolent grim reaper, but in here it is the opposite. In Wolf‘s story, death befriends Duck and waits until Duck’s time on earth is over. Death has no advantage from the death of Duck.

A puppet tale

We found the merging of theatre and puppet theatre interesting and challenging in this 50-minute English play. You have Duck, a puppet, manned by Heiki, and then you have Death.

Duck personifies the joy of life. Death appears at first as a doll, then as a human and then like a shadow, which follows you around. There are three people on stage during the play. There is Anja Gilles, the musician, and Heiki, the puppeteer. I am the actor on stage.

Team work

I came up with the idea of adapting Duck, Death and Tulip into a play. Heiki is a puppeteer who works with Sabine Koehler, who made the puppets. Both of them run a theatre group called ‘Freaksundfremde’ in Dresden. Anja, who studied piano and violin, is our musician. Dirk Lutz is our technician. Joerg is the director of the play.

The music of the play has been composed by Marie Elsa Delon. She has composed theme music for both Death and Duck. Death’s tune has music from a toy piano while Duck’s has tunes from a key flute. Anja plays these pieces on stage.

India calling

This is our first performance in India and we look forward to visiting the place. We will be performing in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad before heading to Thiruvananthapuram. Heiki and I are planning to stay back in Thiruvananthapuram as we want to visit the backwaters and a couple of other places.