After a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scottish storyteller Mike Maran is bringing his breathtakingly beautiful production of Platero Travels with a Donkey to the Georgian Theatre Royal on Friday 31st May.
Maran teamed up with Georgian puppeteer, Nino Namitcheishvili, to create this stage version of Platero y Yo by Spanish Nobel Laureate Juan Ramón Jiménez. The show is directed by Levan Tsuladze, Artistic Director of the Marjanishvili Theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The original book is a series of short prose poems, painting an affectionate portrait of Moguer, a small town in the Andalusian countryside where the poet lived with Platero, his little silver donkey, at the turn of the last century. In 1960 the Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco wrote a suite of classical guitar music for the great classical guitar player, Segovia, to accompany some of the stories and Craig Ogden, the Australian best-selling artist, has especially recorded the music to accompany this production.
Mike Maran specializes in shows combining storytelling with music with previous productions including Mahler Song and Dance Man, A Christmas Carol and A Funny Valentine as well as two long-running shows - Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Italia ‘n’ Caledonia. He originally conceived the idea for Platero y Yo in 2009 when he first met Nino Namitcheishvili.
“I had always loved the stories for their simplicity and humanity and had thought about how to stage them. The music perfectly reflects the poetry of the stories but I felt it needed a visual element to go alongside the spoken word and the music. When I met Nino it all fell into place, especially when I discovered that the book had been translated into Georgian and was a favourite of hers.”
Since that first meeting Mike and Nino have collaborated on a large-scale production of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin with five actors and over thirty puppets, a co-production between the Marjanishvili Theatre and the Mercury Theatre Colchester directed by Levan Tsuladze. That team is now reunited for this production with the addition of best-selling classical guitarist Craig Ogden who travelled to Georgia to record the soundtrack during the rehearsals in Tbilisi.
Platero Travels with a Donkey is at the Georgian Theatre Royal on Friday 31st May 7:30pm. For tickets and more information please contact the theatre's Box Office on 01748 825252.