The mystery "Incognito"

The mystery "Incognito"

The mystery “Incognito” is a wandering play which was performed at the Bergen International Music Festival in May 1998. “Wandering play” means that it isn’t performed in a theater, but rather outside, in the streets. As the story advances, the actors and the audience walks to other locations, where other actors are ready with new settings for the new scenes. This also means that audience changes - new ones come to, others walk another way.

The mystery Incognito is made and performed by Dukkenikkerne and Bergen Byspill. Each performance during the Festival started at 10:28 pm, which was the same as sunset. The play began on a square in the centre of the city.

The Human Fool is the main character in the play, and he arrived in a golden chariot pulled by his clones. The Fool is an odd-looking figure, with silly trousers and a funny hat. The Fool starts off by telling the audience that “I am you. You are me.”, which means that everything the Fool does and says during the play means that this is the way the human fools (i.e. the audience) act in real life. There is a strong moral message in the story, a criticism of shallow Western culture.

The Human Fool adore money, treasures, gold. When the Fool is in the middle of talking lovingly about his wealth, Incognito appears. “Incognito” means unknown in Latin. Incognito lectures the Fool, telling him to go north. But the Fool must abandon one of his treasures - Mormona - which the Fool worships. The Fool is reluctant to do so, but Incognito tells him that there lies great treasures to the North and soon after the Fool is on his way, together with his clones.

The way to the North goes through the city. As the Fool, the audience and the clones moves up and down streets, they encounter actors in different scenarios. All the scenes represent the culture which the Fool adores. One of the scenes is a diva on a sofa, another scene is an angel-like character weighing gold, one is a man tearing newspapers apart, screaming contradicting sentences like “It isn’t true, it isn’t written! Newspapers are crap!”. Two of these scenarios are shadow theater - one showing a fat man stuffing himself with food, the other showing two persons fighting over the Earth and almost pulling it apart.

The final part of the play takes place at Fredriksberg fortress. The atmosphere inside the fortress walls is very special, with torches, incense and the darkness of the night.

At the fortress, the Fool is faced with all his fears, symbolized by ugly masks. Incognito appears, and the Fool, feeling tricked - where were the treasures? - kills down Incognito in a moment of rage. He then suffers great agony for his action. But Incognito re-appears - three of him actually! The Fool tries to flee, but there is no way out. He must look himself in the eyes and see how his way of living is wrong. At the end of the play, the Fool breaks down, and promises the three Incognitos the he will stop craving for gold, fame and money.

The play definitely caught the attention of passersby. Not so strange - a group of twenty girls dressed in white and silver, with wings attached to their backs isn’t an ordinary sight! If the audience remembered the Fools opening lines “I am you, you are me”, it may also have given them something to think about.
The Human Fool in his golden chariot, pushed by his clones
The Human Fool in his golden chariot, pushed by his clones
Incognito, the mysterious wanderer.
Incognito, the mysterious wanderer.
Mamelukks, girls in white and silver, dancing around Mormona's
Mamelukks, girls in white and silver, dancing around Mormona's "box".
One of the scenes - a figure in white yelling
One of the scenes - a figure in white yelling "Higher, faster, stronger" to the ballerina.
Shadows fighting over the planet Earth.
Shadows fighting over the planet Earth.
The Fool facing his darker sides.
The Fool facing his darker sides.
More info:
The main site for Norwegian music: http://www.musicfromnorway.com/
Incognito at Norway Heritage: http://www.norwayheritage.com/p_ship.asp?sh=incog



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