Animikii Theatre’s newest production, The Kaspar Hauser Experiment, weaves a story of conspiracy and intrigue and sheds new light on this incredible true story. The show is presented at The Lowry on Friday May 20 and Saturday May 21.
In 1828, a semi-savage youth appeared in the town square of Nuremberg, claiming to have been held prisoner in a dark cell for 17 years. He is barely able to speak or walk, and can only write his name: Kaspar Hauser. The mystery made him a celebrity across Europe at the time, and the enigma of his short life has fascinated and intrigued people for centuries, inspiring books, films and music. But who was he really? Scammer? Orphan? Or a kidnapped prince caught in the middle of a political game?
In this new look at this legendary figure, Animikii Theater invites audiences to witness key testimonies from those who know him best, hear the conspiracies and rumors surrounding him, and watch Kaspar attempt to uncover the facts. The story will come alive with the company’s visually inventive storytelling and ensemble-based song and physicality.
Adam Davies, Artistic Director of Animikii Theatre, explained: “The story is as relevant today as it was 200 years ago. It is clear from our extensive research that Kaspar may have lived with learning difficulties. Therefore, in telling the story, we wanted to confront how, as a society and as individuals, we care for the most vulnerable people. As a neurodiversity-led theater company, we are always on the lookout for new and imaginative ways to articulate the struggle of the “outsider” and explore their place in society. »
Animikii Theater is partnering for the show with Interplay Theater, which specializes in sensory theater for learner/non-learner disabled audiences. The ensemble cast includes a learning disabled actor, Paul Bates of Bradford-based Mind The Gap, who plays the judge, Feuerbach, in the series. Adam Davies said, “Working with an artist with Paul’s experience is extremely exciting for a company like Animikii Theatre. He has integrated perfectly into our ensemble and has become a valuable member of the team. The inclusion of the voice and artistic observations of a learning disabled artist, like Paul, made this adaptation more exciting, sensitive and personal. We can’t wait for people to see Paul help bring Kaspar’s story to life.
Animikii Theater also worked with access consultant Vicky Ackroyd to incorporate sensory aspects into the production and embed the audio description directly into the text of the play. Closed captioning is also available at each performance for those who require it.
The Animikii Theater will also bring participants with and without disabilities together in a safe space through “Play Days” workshops at The Lowry. Here artists will be free to play and create, using fun and imaginative ways to explore the theatrical practices used in the creation of the piece. They can be booked on the Lowry’s and Animikii Theater websites.