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The Berner Kulturagenda is definitely right. And so is the Unikum. They can’t all be right? Oh yes they can!! Both recommended our panto.

And now, after a successful dress rehearsal on Tuesday at the Theater am Käfigturm, we are looking forward to an already sold out opening night, a lovely audience and the great opportunity to perform not once, not twice, but three times in an unforgettable venue.

Haven’t got a ticket yet? Don’t panic: there are still some left for the performance on Saturday, 10th December. Reserve your tickets now by simply sending an e-mail to


It seemed as though he never left. He became a part of the garage, blended in, gradually started to live in a seemingly unhealthy symbiosis with the walls, the cars, the itzy-bitzy spiders that went up the water spout, the brushes, which over time received names and came to life. Where did Fred go off to again? Freeedd? In such moments, he would become sad. Was that a tear in his eye, just now?

Spending hours in the cold, drawing and painting the stage set changes a man. Or a woman for that matter (I am looking at you, Andrea). It does things to you. And although Cris and Andrea will never be the same they were before embarking on this mad journey, I must say, those guys can paint.

And what about our beloved directress. Surely, she can’t handle tools! Oh yes she can. And in case your kitchen needs any refurbishing, just let me know, I have her number.

But that’s not all, folks. We created stones, built signposts, even put up a bar (the beer is way too expensive though). Lazy we ain’t. Now, I just hope the driver knows what he is doing. He will never know what hit him.

Thanks goes out to everyone that spent hours in the cold and made this whole thing work. Chapeau!!

… and Laughter.

Looking around the table during a rehearsal weekend lunch break, one gets the impression that the cast is one big happy family. This was not always so. At first they were just a group of strangers who loved acting. Thanks to many revealing rounds of „random facts about myself“ and fun team building games, these strangers came to know and trust each other and became friends. Okay, some of the games that resulted in this kind of solidarity were just plain scary. To close one’s eyes and blindly waddle through a room full of vampires and zombies is not exactly what one would call fun. While some of these games were aimed at building trust, others helped the actors discover their character’s likes and dislikes or their own individual way of walking, talking, laughing and crying.

While many of the actors first had to get to know each other, the atmosphere during rehearsals was amazing from day one. Those with previous panto experience encouraged those who were complete greenhorns to throw all of their restraints overboard and give in to the temptation of magnificent overacting. The newbies quickly got the hang of things and (nearly) weekly panto parties did the rest. Evenings of food and laughter created a tight-knit group out of the initial strangers who can now veritably call themselves a panto family.“


Armed with gigantic cups of coffee, half the cast stands in front of the sliding doors of a seemingly empty UniTobler. Who has the badge again? Meanwhile, the other half is busy turning room F-122 into an improvised stage. It’s a perfectly normal Rehearsal Weekend. The last one before the performances. Wish us luck!!
Once the stage is set, the panto-band ready, voices are warm, throats are cleared, and the directress has got her pen and notepad ready to jot down any remarks on clarity of speech, tempo or voice projection (sometimes they aren’t legible but decoding them as part of a team effort usually does the trick), we are ready to go.

And it goes well, I must say. Nevertheless, there are some minor mistakes that need some fixing. And fixed they are. Around 5 pm, room F-122 turns back into its normal state. Who would have guessed that over the weekend princesses and evil wizards ran through that very room you may be having your lecture in Monday morning?!

A Word from the Writer

„A word from the writer, they said. As if they hadn’t got enough of those already, at least the actors, who had to internalise them and make them sound as though they were theirs and not someone else’s.

So what can one say? Perhaps this: the first version of this panto was written at a particularly difficult time. The preceding panto, Cinderella, my first, written three years earlier and in a flurry of unadulterated enthusiasm, had been received gratifyingly well, so the pressure to write that second one — hopefully to be received equally favourably — was more than a bit daunting. And then the world went mad: September 11th, the Swissair disaster, the man who ran amuck in the parliament of Zug killing fourteen people, it was a tough time to write, trying to be funny. Now, ten years later, all this is history, and yet, the inevitable digs at present-day ills, dubious politics and financial shenanigans, apart from a few cosmetic changes did not really have to be updated for this new version, which is a sobering thought. The text with some modifications and some new songs still seems to hold up.

And it is once again brought to life by a troupe that could not be more enthusiastic and inspiring, and enriched by the beautiful tunes that Simon Reber has written. It is the most gratifying thing that could happen to me.

A word from the writer, they said. That word, it could only be THANKS!“

Franz Andres Morrissey  

No one actually knows where she came from. One day, she just turned up, appeared out of nowhere, with no apparent goal or purpose in mind. Yes, there were rumours and talk behind her back at first – What was this being, this bee that seemed so much more than a bee? – An aura of secrecy and mystery surrounded her.

Soon it was discovered that she didn’t want to talk about what was beneath the bee. She did not want to talk about her past and where she came from. There were questions, certainly, but she would always remain silent, that tentative and quirky smile on her lips, telling stories far beyond the words she did not utter.

However, it became quickly apparent that she is a natural. A natural actor that is, as she suddenly, in a moment of improvised frenzy, joined the actors on stage, leaving everyone, cast and crew alike, stunned by the stage presence she showed off.

Quickly it was decided by the directress and the producers that this was not a talent to be wasted. A part was written for her, for that magic actress, that magnificent duc…, erm, bee that had come out of nowhere.

And in every single rehearsal, she played this part with such perfection, precision and emotion, it has melted even the hearts of the most hard-boiled members of the panto family. Yes, this is an actress to be reckoned with.

Humble Bumblebee. A panto star is born.

Last weekend’s rehearsals were all about emotions…and more emotions…and more…. Our actors and actresses had to be astonished, depressed, happy, flirty (uhhh Cris don’t make me…hmm..sorry) and what not.

And of course there was another round of the legendary random facts. However, we no longer wanted to hear about our actors and actresses but were curious about the characters on stage: The Sultan would have rather become a professional dancer than the ruler of his father’s sultanate, Nastimaan loves to watch ‚Glee‘ and Widow Twankey orders her oversized knicker’s from a company that also produces parachutes. But the most shocking fact we had to discover: Mustapha Loadacash is actually an Immigrant!

But one question remains: who dared to compete with Richard’s red socks?

Find out and search through the multitude of pictures that we uploaded on facebook – with such talented actors|actresses and all the fun scenes there is no way you can keep your hands off the camera…

No panto without song. So much’s written in stone. And the music must be composed for the occasion: a love song for the principle boy and his damsel in distress, operettas for wooing real dames and swinging jazz to tell about the drama of having to choose from a harem of douchebags. Someone had to be found who’s up for the challenge, got the musical talent and who doesn’t take himself too seriously to make all of this fun. And there he was the knight in shining armour: Simon, an educated classical pianist who knows all Disney songs by heart – questions about musicality, self-irony and the courage for the right amount of kitsch were settled then! Simon composed eight songs on the piano. The lyrics, which told him the stories his music had to recount, were written by the panto’s author Franz Andres Morrissey.  After restless nights of howling pianos, the songs were introduced to the actors, adjusted to the range of their voices and orchestrated – adding violin, saxophone, guitar, bass, percussion and drums.

Enjoy some raw material of the first 61 seconds of the play here! It will be the only musical snippet you’ll get before the performances ;-)…

It’s by no means easy to find the appropriate dress-up for an occasion of such utmost importance. Women have to be turned into principle boys and men have to become proper ladies and glamorous dames. Is a oversized golden turban suitable to demonstrate the sultan’s superiority and power over his kingdom or does it, alas do not speak it, rather comically portray his need to compensate? Be aware, some actors seriously contemplate on seizing the stage by making women scream over their bare and hairy chests. Whereas others prefer not to show their belly buttons in fear of their life as coach potatoes being publicly exposed.

Thank God Ellora is skilled and patient enough to fulfil their every wish! See what she does to a simple bra – that’s wizardry that is!

Same place, same stage, another scene

Surprise! Surprise! There was another rehearsal weekend and, well, it was all about rehearsing – actually. Some random facts of course should not be forgotten. For example, the actors’ many ways of concealing that they lost direction (my favourite one is where you just keep on walking the wrong way), some people’s unquenchable thirst for booze and, yes, Sultana actually is a spy in real life, just dreaming that she is a student.

Other than that:

–          Two big scenes

–          A lot of nonsense talk

–          and 15 actors/actresses with no clue about where they were standing or where they were supposed to be going

Well the outcome is mind blowing:

–          the scenes work

–          the nonsense’s fun

So keep on wiggling your bums, to dance, eat and sulk your way through the scenes. I’m kneeling in front of you my almighty crew!

As usual more pictures can be found on our Facebookpage. There you can also see a sneak peak of unused footage: The „almost kiss“ of Yasmin and Aladdin.