Monday, July 21, 2008

Swedish Kitties in the Lap of History

Yesterday we went to see a children's play featuring two beloved German characters, a curmudgeonly Swedish recluse named Petterson and his cheeky cat, Findus. Here's the plush version of Findus, which my little Tiger persuaded his dad to buy for him:

Though Petterson and Findus are originally Swedish characters, I suspect they're at least as big here in Germany as in their home country. Like Janosch's Little Bear and Little Tiger, they haven't yet found a translator who could capture the quirky humor of the original in English. And so the only video clips I could find online are in German (like this one) or Swedish (which I'll spare you).

In the film clip, Petterson's well-meaning neighbor, Frau Anderson, is trying to convince him he's getting too eccentric and lonely, and needs to adopt a kitten. Findus arrives in a box of "Findus" brand green peas. Whereupon Petterson offers him a cup of coffee.

The "only in Berlin" part of our experience at the Petterson and Findus stage play was the venue: an outdoor theater right next to the Spandau Citadel. No, that's not Spandau Prison where Rudolf Hess was imprisoned for 40 years after World War II as a Nazi war criminal, and which was then demolished so it wouldn't attract neo-Nazi pilgrims. The Spandau Citadel is a historic building in its own right, though - a well-preserved fortress dating back to the Renaissance, now a museum.

It's set in a lush park and surrounded by a moat. Which even has a drawbridge. As you might imagine, the kids loved that - almost as much as the play.

Photos of the Spandau Zitadelle and its drawbridge by Flickr user Gertrud B., used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo of Findus by me, Sungold.

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