PAGE 24 Nov. 2-8, 1979 THE BRAVE FROG A Special Treat for Children Cyprus Theatrical Organisation Stages Russian Allegory Children tove fairy tales, they can still be gripped by a fiercely moralistic story and they love seeing actors dressed up as animals. The new children’s production by the Cyprus Theatrical Organi- sation, which opens on 4th November, promises to have all these in- gredients. The play is “The Brave Frog” by Lev Ustinov, translated from Russian into Greek by Andreas Stylianou. It is a simple story in which the mangy, ageing Lion king (Pedro Vicuna) calls upon his subjects to inform them that on the following day the Rabbit (Peter Kosta) will have to sacrifice himself to satisfy the Lion's voracious appetite. Panic and fear set in and the Donkey (Kyriakos Efthimiou), the pig (Rhea Frangofinou), the Bear (Pambos Xoufarides) and the Snake (Neoptolemos Neoptolemou) group together to prevent the Rabbit from escaping to another forest kingdom. The treachery against their fetlow-animal is encouraged by the Lion’s henchman, the wily and corruptible Fox (Xenios Xenophontos), who engenders a policy of exploitation and expediency. a ae The cast of the play during rehearsals. Back row: Pambos Xoufarides, Kyriacos Efthymiou and Peter Costa. Front row: Rhea Frangofinou, Xenios Xenophontos, Medea Hanna and “Pedro Vicuna. The Rabbit and the Frog (Medea Hanna) u- nite forces and with dis- plays of courage, wit and unselfishness even- tually succeed in prov- ing to all concerned that justice and wisdom are ‘the basis for peaceful co-existence. There is also a Voice which is occasionally heard throughout the play. The Voice sets the moral tone of the play and gently guides the imagination of the spectator through the. fantastic world of the for- est where the Law of the dungle forces the animals to act both instinctively as - animals and rationally as humans and to act ruth- lessly, courageously or justly according to their principles and moral val- ues. The play’s director, Andreas Marangos, be- lieves that the play is of particular interest because “the need for co-existence, whichis a primary factor in the play, is of equal import- ance to all Cypriots and the despair of the Rabbit at having to leave his beloved homeland, is the cry of dis- . placed people all over the world”. Without understating the deeper meanings in the play,.Mr Marangos has ma- Naged to preserve a sim- plicity and freshness of conception throughout. The fact that the play will be performed mainly for a child audience (although adults are sure to get just as much enjoyment out of it), has posed one of the greatest problems for the director: “I want the play to suit the innocence and naivety of the child's mind without the play itself be- coming naive or -over- ‘simplified in the process.” There is, for example, the difficulty of presenting anthropomorphic charac- ters on stage so that the an- imal and human elements appertaining to each char- acter are clearly definable and yet convincingly fused to form anentity credible in its own right. The children have to accept the Frog and the Fox as a frog and a fox and at the same time as a Good Person or a Bad Per- son. Delightful The delightful stage and costume design (Clara Georgiou) are one example of the way in which this dif- ficulty is overcome. For while the animals have realistic heads and cos- tumes, they nevertheless, have the added sophistica- tion of human clothing in keeping with their charac- ‘ter. The Fox, for example, wears a black trench-coat which highlights his cor- ruptible nature as a kind of Secret Service man in the Lion's employ. Song and dance under the choreogra- phic and musical direction of Angela Alonefti and Stel- ios Argyris, respectively, help to keep the mood of the play buoyant and enter- taining. THE CYPRUS WEEKLy ¥ AEE SAAS New Actors For Cypriot Stage Pedro Vicuna - from Chile . Peter Costa - from Bristol The actors who will be making their stage debut in “The Brave Frog”, are Pedro Vicuna and Peter Kosta. Pedro Vicuna, an exiled Chilean, was born in Santiago in the summer of 1956 and studied Mass Media and Com- munication at the Catholic University in Santiago.. Receivigg a one year scholarship, he went to Satonica where he studied Greek after which he made his theatrical apprenticeship in the National Theatre of Greece. Pedro’ has only spent two months in Cy- prus and says “I would like to stay in Cyprus for at least one year. | like Cyprus. | feel for it as if it were my own’ country because of the many problems it faces.” If cir- cumstances allow, Pe- dro would tike to return to Chile but as things stand he will probably go to France or England in order to maintain con- tact with his people. Pedro admits that he would like to concentrate his talents not so much on acting as on writing: “| like to seé Theatre from the point of view of the playw- right and [ have had a book of my poetry published in Greece which is available both in Spanish and Greek. Although my poetry is of a Surrealistic, philosephic and satyrical nature, | am always striving to reach another evel.” Pedro would like to publish some- thing in Cyprus and at the moment is preparing a phi- _ losophical work called “Ba- bylon's Tears”. “One could say “Babylon's Tears’ is of a prophetic nature and isa study of life in towns. Do pu know what it means to ave 10 million people all living on top of each oth- er?” Peter Kosta, who was born in Cyprus and brought up in Bristol, admits to be- ing thirty. He studied dra- ma at the Rose Bruford College and made his West End debut at the Apoilo Theatre in the play “Why not stay for breakfast’ which included Derek Nim- mo and Katy Manning in its cast. “Actually, | had to take the part at 1% hours’s notice as the understudies were not available. Lucki- ly, itled toa six-month con- tract. with the Apollo Theatre.” Other roles that Peter has played are: Ferdy the Fox in “The Rupert Bear Show”, Dick's cat in “Dick Whittington”, Sylvester in “Bugs Bunny meets the Su- perheroes’” and various parts in “Puss in Boots”, “Godspell”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat” and “Jeeves”. Indeed, Peter would dearly like to see a musical such as Godspell” or “Cabaret” perormed in Cyprus. “The talent is here and it is sim- ply a matter of someone in- itiating and financing it. Why should we have shows coming over from Greece when we can produce our own?” The problem, Peter ad- mits, has no easy solution. “Cyprus Theatre needs to learn a lot in terms of pro- duction and can only achieve this through exper- imentation and increased output in production for which, unfortunately, there are insufficient funds. Although Peter Kosta has only been in Cyprus a few weeks, he says he would like to live here permanently. “Unfartu- nately many young Cypri- ots like myself, who have lived the greater part of their lives in England. feel alienated from the Cypriot culture and mentality. This is mainly the fault of their Peter Costa, in his role in Bugs Bunny Meets the Super Heroes parents who make little or no effort to learn Englishso that their children, who re- ceive an English education, are faced with an identity crisis. Surprisingly e- nough, the older generation in Cyprus have progressed with the times while their peers in England still have the mentality of forty years ago.” Peter's whimsically tronic solution to the prob- lem is a “Parent Exchange Programme”.