During the summer of 2005 Teatersmedjan continued their ambition of doing a trilogy of Astrid Lindgren stories with ”Ronja” (having started with ”The Brothers Lionheart”). I had hoped to design and build all the goblinfolk that frequent the story, but the director wanted as simple an approach as possible, so the work went to a stage designer instead. I still helped out with a number of props, most notably making paws and head for a bearskin rug. The finished prop ended up a little more cartoony than I would´ve liked, but the overall production was painted with broad strokes so it didn´t look out of place.
My biggest commitment was transforming 24-year old Eli Ingvarsson into 80, 90-something Bald Pete for every performance. The make-up took about two hours to apply and consisted of a latex bald cap, false nose and old-age stipple around his eyes and on his neck. The original make-up test was more complex, but it was decided to show as much of Eli´s face as possible.
The truth is, I wouldn´t have done it if it weren´t for Eli. His dedication and skill as an actor made the whole thing work. He was also always courteous and fun to speak with. The play had a lot of merits, but when I was waiting for the boat to pick up the audience after the show was over (it was played on a small island), I overheard people talking about Bald Pete, and ONLY about Bald Pete. This, of course, made me realize that my make-up worked and had formed a symbiosis with Eli. More than anything it´s a credid to Eli´s skill.
Still ”Ronja” convinced me that I never wanted to work with a stage production again. It´s just too much repetitive work, too little pay and too many wills. And not a place were I could display the best of my skills.