Local artist Kurt Hutterli (pictured far left) recently attended the premiere of his play Centovalli-Centoricordi (One Hundred Valleys, One Hundred Memories) in Switzerland. The play is performed in walkabout incorporating both indoor and outdoor locations, live musical performances, and even a train ride! Below, Kurt outlines the plot of this fanciful production, and shares some photos.
In 1853 a young man leaves his fiancée to emigrate to California, where he joins a family from the Centovalli which became a pioneer of the California wineindustry. He soon forgets his Sofia and marries the owner of a dancing school and an ice cream parlor.
In 1874 a well known photographer takes pictures of the poor little boys who are forced to sweep the narrow chimneys in northern Italy by their brutal bosses. He hopes to make a strong statement against child labour forbidden by law in Ticino in 1873.
Other storylines include:
Four witches who live in the Centovalli mountains stop the train and try to change it into a flying vehicle. A priest visit the village where he was born in 1722. Then he returns to Venice where he lives as a controversial poet.
A young woman falls in love with a smuggler and sends a customs officer chasing her sweetheart into the wrong direction. She has to defend herself against a “famous” robber before being able to marry her beloved smuggler who in the meantime became a custom officer himself.
And there is Discobal (performed by the famous clown, Dimitri), a warrior from Carthage who for 2000 years has been in search of his beloved warrior elephant, whom he had lost, when Hannibal led his army over the Alps. (Clown Dimitri was performing with elephant Sandry for the Swiss National Circus Knie a few years ago.)
Photo Credit: Ronny Winkler