Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9th October 2014

Ui, Pardauz

Performance for Children: Theater Gruene Sosse plays „Three times King“

What would you do, if you were King? Sleep on soft pillows, have fun all day long, govern everything. But what if there are two other Kings? They also want sleep on soft pillows, have fun all day long, govern everything. Only differently. There is struggle. And then: War!

In the Empire of the three Kings, which Frankfurt`s Theater Gruene Sosse comes up with now, the cannon fodder is made of coulorful foam rubber. So indeed the poor little men can fly through the air, a puppet of the powerful people such as authentic subjects. But a big shovel with a white-red cross, a siren wailing and a little rigging are sufficient: Then the fellas stand up straight as a pole again.

The slapstick-like “Doesn´t hurt at all” of cartoon and circus in “Three Times King” make the disaster safe and sound again and like in a children`s game this is repeated again and again.
This is comforting. Because the recent production, which once again puts all three actors of Theater Gruene Sosse, Willy Combecher, Sigi Herold and Detlef Köhler in front of stage, is not half as harmless, as it might seem at first sight.

“Three Times King” is a play, the young Belarusian art director Katya Averkova, whom they got to know at an International Director`s Seminar of Children`s Theatre Association ASSITEJ, designed tailor-made for the three best-aged gentlemen. A piece of masterstroke without words, but only fantasy murmuring, which as much else puts in mind the beautiful east-european Children Movies of the sixties and seventies. But with accurate gestures, mime, body tension, timing for the impelling, allusive original music of Matvei Saburov. And with fancy costumes (Averkova), imputing a grotesque to each of the three gentlemen: Combecher, the tallest, ultralong arms and high shoulders, Herold, the smallest, a tubby belly, Köhler oversized feet. They wear it as well as their paper crowns with a peculiar grace and grandeur - obviously the actors enjoy working with this young und very unusual concept.

It is a theatrical challenge, whose fourth king is likewise the simple as crafty stage design of Motz Tietze: There is snow falling from above, a switch is buzzing, a clap is opening, a snowman gets legs: the small canopy of the door, out of which all this is pouring out, is a feast for the eyes
Pictures and rhythm do not create a story, but food for inspiration, associations, feelings, happiness and satisfaction. Sometimes the adults are more laughing than children up from 6, for whom the play is intended for. Nevertheless they are taken by this wordless performance as well:
Experiment successful.

Frankfurter Rundschau

Three Times King

The chubby red king stands with a cup of tea in the snow. When he drags the teabag, a lump of ice sticks on it.
The tall blue king writes and writes and writes on a whole web of paper, soon you can wrap it around the castle, which is by the way equipped with a microwave to bake a veritable snowman.
The yellow king with the glasses is hanging on a red phone and wears the most beautifully checkered trousers. All three are greedy for a special whiteshinnig crown.
A distinctive, funny, surreal play for children up from 6 years up to 99 years, created by the vintaged Theater Gruene Sosse. Now it is played on the scene of Theaterhaus Frankfurt. Willy Combecher, Sigi Herold, Detlef Köhler did the direction after the concept of Katya Averkova „3 x König“. This time they had no text to learn. They just hat to brabbel and grumble to pantomimic fantasie.
Motz Tietze’s stage scenery is all over windows and doors which can be opend every time. There are mystery utensils which are roled on the scene and the kings are fishing glowing stars. A pencil sharpener is glued on the wall and gets in use. A snowman transforms to a ghost. A mystyrious beauty appears at the window. Thats the reason why the chubby red king is estatic and falls on the ground. He would like to give her his hat althou they are not flowers.

Katya Averkova is skillied in Minsk and was there actor and director. With a fine easteuropean tradion of the childrentheatre she befried a gently ironie which gives the play a touch of fairytail and absurdity.

The music sings magicly like an old music box (Matvei Saburov, Katya Averkova). Everything fits, there is no text so every as so little sound has got his on place and effect. And of course the three kings with there mimic, brabbel and grumble.

A nicely done play which takes about one hour. It is not just for kids also for adults with a kind of scincerity: A fight comes a cross and the three kings are starting a war with there coloured (foam-)subjects. In the end all colloured manicans are dead and the kings have to drag them into pieces with the snow. Although its a fairytail, so you can recyle them.

FAUST Kultur
An Ode to Fantasy
Performance for young audience: TheterGrueneSosse plays “3times King”
In general, the innovative capacity of fringe theatre companies in the Rhein-Main-Region is limited. Who is searching for new forms aside the bigger venues, will mainly find them in the theatre for the young audience. TheaterGrueneSosse is a protagonist in this scene.
If snow flakes can become snow mens in microwaves, if pillows float and stars can be fished, then only in the new performance “3times King” of TheaterGrueneSosse.
It deals with three kings, which live together and coudn’t differ more from each other, even just because of their caricatural costumes (Averkova). In a silent film-like manner the ensemble performs clownish quarrels, moments of confusion à la Marx Brothers, innovative tinkers and a dreamy silence. The precise clocked choreography is accompanied with the polymorphic original music by Matvei Saburov.
With overdrawn facial expressions and gestures the three performers appeal to the fanatsy of the young and old audience members. In this way, the stage changes shape in the inner eye again and again: Where a snowy countryside has been, a foggy sea appears which soon changes to a battlefield. Far from realism, performance and stage design follow their own rules and teach amazement with skilfully used moments of surprise to young and old. After many slapstick scences, the performance doesn’t lack seriousness.

With its new performance TheaterGrueneSosse builds up a world, in which everthing is possible and offers enough room for own associations and memories.