The Penguin (2007)

Photo: Ulrich Hillebrand

Photo: Ulrich Hillebrand

About escaping and finding your way home…

A dance and theatre performance for children between the age of 6 and 9.
Opening the 26th of September 2007 at Angereds Teater.

The Penguin is a dance and theatre performance about isolation, curiosity and homesickness. With music and movement the dancer Phax Ahamada tells the story of his life, from childhood in Madagascar through the suburbs of Paris to life as an artist in Sweden.

Experience great drama, existential questions and absurd fun when our penguin tries to adapt to new unfamiliar environments. Playful and sad about self-esteem, about music and dance as a universal language, about escaping and finding your way home.

Photo: Ulrich Hillebrand

Photo: Ulrich Hillebrand

The performance is inspired by the fantastic penguin and its human features, by Madagascan folk tales, African storytelling tradition and dance styles from all over the world.

The performance is 35 mins. + 15 mins. dance workshop with Phax

The Penguin was performed at Angereds Teater from the 26th of September till the 23rd of November 2007

The Penguin is an Angereds Teater production.


Direction: Charlie Åström
Script: Charlie Åström and Phax Ahamada
Dramaturgic consulting and translation of Madagascan folk tale: Lena Fridell
Set and costume design: Charlie Åström and Christine Åström, Studio Oscuro
Make up design: Gunnar Lundgren
Light design: Åsa Holtz Svensson
Sound: Johan Karlsson

“With infallible eye contact and a humour beaming of warmth…”
From a review by Lis Hellström Svenningson, Göteborgs Posten 2007-10-04

Phax technical brilliance shines through all the time but is toned down on behalf of intimacy and serenity.” “Superb.”
From a review by Liv Landell Major, Nummer 2007-09-28

”… hits the children’s imagination and lust bull’s eye.”
“… a bright shimmering pearl, imbued by both wisdom and sparkling sense of life.”
From a review by Anders Thuresson, Göteborgs Fria Tidning 2007-09-26

“… a fantastic performance about running away and finding your way home, about alienation and contact for the youngest school children.”
“In that way form and content interacts as much as the artist and the audience.” ”Profound. Nice. Communication on an inspiring level.”
From a review by Marita Adamsson, Bohusläningen 2007-10-23

“Ahamadas ability for communication is substantial.”
From a review by Mikael Löfgren, Dagens Nyheter 2007-11-26

The Egypt Tour the 29th of January till the 18th of February 2009

Studio Emad Eldin, Cairo 29 – 31 January

We rehearse with our Egyptian translator Ahmed Nagdy, also called Oscar, at Studio Emad Eldin in Cairo. The text is translated from Syrian Arabic to Egypian Arabic and we invite the staff of the Studio to be our try out audience.

Creative Forum for Independent Theatre Groups, Alexandria 1 – 10 February

The 6th of February we give a crowded performances for an enthusiastic audiences of children and festival participants. The following day Phax Ahamada leads a highly appreciated street dance workshop for children between 5 and 15 years old and he really succeeds in inspiring them to dance and express themselves with their bodies. During the festival Training for Theatre Technicians, a workshop program for light, sound, video technique and set design led by Charlie Åström, Råger Johansson and Erik Jeppsson, also takes place.

Photo: Studio Oscuro

Photo: Studio Oscuro

JBA, El Minia, 10 – 12 February

At the Jesuits in El Minia we give two performances the 12th of February, we play for both Muslim and Christian children who are taken to the centre by bus from the surrounding villages. Phax Ahamada also leads a street dance workshop at the inner courtyard of the centre, here the participants are between 10 and 15 years old and the workshop ends up in a “mini battle”.

Photo: Studio Oscuro

Photo: Studio Oscuro

Jesuit Culture Centre and Rawabet Theatre, Cairo, 13 – 17 February

Our last tour stop starts with an amazing performance at the Jesuits who are situated in Cairos old film studio area. We perform outside in a parking lot and the performance is ended with an extended dance workshop where the people of the audience, mostly refugee children participating in an education program led by the Jesuits, participates. In Cairo we also play two performances at the independent stage Rawabet, here the audience consists of refugee children who are participating in a democracy and art project led by Townhouse Gallery.

The tour was supported by The Swedish Institute and Sida through Dramatiska Institutet.

Phax and the translator are happy after a successful performance.

Phax and the translator are happy after a successful performance.

9th and 10th of June 2008 at The High Institute for Theatre Arts, Damascus, Syria

The Penguin guest performed with four shows as a part of the project Swedish Children’s Theatre in Damascus, the cultural capital of the region 2008. The project also consisted of workshops and lectures, held by representatives from Studio Oscuro, Angereds Teater and Backa Teater, and was lead by Dramatiska Institutet. This was the first time Dramatiska Institutet realizes a project in Syria. The Penguin was performed in French and translated to Arabic directly on stage by one of the school’s dance students. The enthusiastic audience mainly came from SOS Children’s Villages, and for most of them this was their first encounter with theatre and street dance.

The project was supported by The Swedish Institute, Dramatiska Institutet and Sida.

Building the set in a rainy Slottsskogen.

Building the set in a rainy Slottsskogen.

17th, 18th and 19th of June 2008 at Slottsskogen, Gothenburg

The Penguin was performed at the outdoor stage of the City park of Gothenburg as a part of the city of Gothenburg’s annual summer entertainment program – a festive event in both rain and sunshine, with a big crowed and lots of happy faces.