Jokasta: A puppet opera

Photos of this production can be found in my Theatre Gallery.

Music and Story by Adam Donen

Puppets by Justina Kochansky

Directed by Mikael Jager Jensen

In cooperation with Abney Park Trust

Jokasta: A puppet opera is a modern gothic fairytale about love, freedom, dreams and illusion. It will run for 8 nights in the haunting church ruins of Stoke Newington’s Abney Park Cemetery this Spring.

An old and very wealthy woman hates everything and everyone in the world. Her only love is a female puppet, given to her as a child. Every night she prays that she might become a puppet and spend her remaining days with her true love… a Magician and a Scientist appear, each offering to make her wish come true.

The work features shadow puppetry and marionettes by American puppeteer and maskmaker Justina Kochansky, whom Adam Donen met in the cemetery last year (‘I’d lost my cigarette holder behind a gravestone. She found it. We’ve been friends ever since.’).

The music and set draws inspiration from German cabaret and art deco, and is influenced by Donen’s extensive travels in Germany promoting his last album, Vampires, while the plot draws from Brecht and Pinocchio in equal amounts. But it was the cemetery itself that provided the greatest inspiration.

“The Cemetery is our second home,” says Mikael Jaeger Jensen. “I’ve spent weeks there with Adam, Justina, and many of our other friends, plotting ideas for works in every medium. It’s our favorite place in London. It was inevitable that sooner or later it would inspire a story.”