The serious side of life begins at 13. That seems to be the message in the new musical in the MAAG Halle. Out of a classic book an experienced team of authors has made an entertaining musical with a lot of humour and wonderful ideas. I had expected the audience to be full of pubescent teenagers, but that was wrong. Almost all were adults. Perhaps for many it is a glance back to their own youth, to their time in the primary school when the book “My name is Eugen” was compulsory reading.
Although the book appeared in 1955, the questions confronting the then 13 year olds are similar to the ones I know from my youth and with which even today many teenagers could be faced. For example, what happens if I put my finger between the clock’s small hand and its large hand. I can remember as if it were only yesterday how I brought my sweet tempered grandmother into a rage when I experimented on her high hanging wall clock to see what would happen by re-setting the clock. The climb itself was an artistic feat.
I can also still remember how with good intentions I wanted to bake cream rolls for my mother, only to discover with horror that we had no baking rolls at home, around which I could roll the pastry. Without further ado I borrowed my mother‘s metal curlers, around which I rolled the pastry and shoved into the oven. It was more than upsetting to see that my mother was furious and was not at all pleased with my baking efforts.
Or when I wanted to do a good deed for my fellow creatures, I brought a scruffy vagrant home and let him use our bathroom. For a 13 year old it is a surprise, when adults react in fury and punish one instead of praising the good deed.
The producer, Guido Schilling, has succeeded with the new musical in staging a showpiece, which is wonderfully entertaining for all, young, adult and those of advanced age, with music, song, dance, special effects and simply a good performance.
Thank you, Guido!! Well done. A visit to the Maaghalle in Zürich is worthwhile.
Image source: Christian Knecht