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"The Snow Flea" a young peoples show

by Patrick Sims

“The Snow Flea” a fantastic puppet opera about a tiny insect’s journey between the earth’s polar extremes. No longer available for touring.

At the present day magnetic North Pole, a forever wandering location, the tiny snow flea, Keruguq, is hiding out from Baron Tugar Von Torngark, a mean flea circus ringmaster who wants to turn Keruguq into an ice cream preservative. The Baron, accompanied by his sidekick, Wayne, a greasy French-fry eating seagull, operate a foul ice cream industry powered by the fleas from his circus.

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The Snow Flea and the Baron Tugar Von Turngark

Meanwhile, an old, hiccoughing Inuit shaman named Simmiktartoq, vows to protect Keruguq and teaches his over-imaginative children how to “eat the weather”. Keruguq gets lost from his home when he falls down a great opening in the earth and suddenly finds himself at the other end of the world - in the Antarctic and desperate to return. Along the way home he meets a host of eccentric animals, insects and micro-organisms who help him on his return, sharing meals, adventures and stories. He eventually returns back to the magnetic North Pole and things have turned upside down. Transforming robots and Inuit totem pole dance, costumed children fly, fleas, worms, lice and mosquitoes have a jazz band jam session under the northern lights! The snow flea is a story of science fiction fantasy mixed with Stone Age mythology and real geophysical anomalies! Part flea circus, part ancient Inuit ice cream ceremony, a tragic-comedy puppet opera for children of all ages!

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The Snow Flea

Director’s Notes

The Snow Flea is based on several Inuit and western mythologies about the North Pole, peppered with outrageous elements of real scientific facts.

The Snow Flea is a contemporary fairy tale that takes its springboard into the fantasy world, not from religious myths or superstitions, but from extraordinary scientific facts from a land and its inhabitants, of which little is known. The harsh climate and extreme conditions of this land create geophysical anomalies that appear to commence from dreamland. Set at the poles of our earth, The Snow Flea sympathises with the topsy-turvy view of the child, but does not stop there, for then it is turned inside-out. Every child’s story begins with a contradiction.

In the Snow Flea, Santa Claus ends up at the South Pole. New mythological beings reside there for the moment, coming from the past and future. The Arctic is now mixing knowns and unknowns. The child-like narrators, the shaman and the scientist, communicate in gobbly-gook. The language is simple. Children sleep in daylight, animals speak, giants carry dwarfs on piggy-back, aboves and belows intertwine, insides and outsides collide, contradictions swirl under the lights of the dark noontide. The Snow Flea is an Arctic Alice in Wonderland, where proportions shift rapidly and where sense and non-sense can be seen arriving from the same place. At the same, The Snow Flea is jam-packed with scientific rigor that touches upon all of the exceptional facts concerning this spinning top on which we all live, and its inhabitants who dance at its poles.

Mixed storytelling techniques through masks, puppets, machines and objects combined with this outrageous story and a glacial setting will be a wonder for children of all ages. The soundtrack will be made by Ergo Phizmiz an English musician, and based on traditional Inuit throat singing, recordings of whales and the sounds of melting glaciers. The show presents a positive, optimistic picture of beautiful resilient life thriving in the Arctic.

Conception, direction, scenography, puppets, music and text by Patrick Sims
Composer Ergo Phizmiz
Masks, puppets and decor by Josephine Biereye
Costumes, scenography, sets and photography by Mafalda Camara
Stage, machines and props by Richard Penny
Lighting design by Julian Weare
Automats and sound – Oriol Viladomiu

Puppeteers : Patrick Sims, Mafalda Camara, Richard Penny, Philippe Hauer

With the aid of the Theatre Massalia (Marseille), la Ville de Marseille and DRAC PACA (Ministry of Culture)

Study pointers

Fairytale structure
Inuit culture and mythology
Astrology
Geography / Geology (magnetics)
Global warming
Genetic engineering

The Snow Flea overture
Music by Ergo Phizmiz
IMG/mp3/The_Snow_Flea-Overture.mp3

With financial assistance from the Ville de Marseille and the DRAC PACA

See online : Théâtre Massalia

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