Sunday, May 31, 2009

What was Mabruk about to do?

I wanted to talk real quick about another moment from "The Last Unicorn" that I've been working on: Mabruk. As a reminder, he's the old evil wizard that Haggard already has in his employ when Schmendrick, the Unicorn and Molly arrive at the castle. When Haggard realizes that despite Mabruk's undeniable power he actually might be made happier by Schmendrick's incompetence, Mabruk is summarily dismissed. Mabruk isn't happy about that- so he starts to work some terrible magic to get revenge. Now, the question (not really answered in the book) is, what exactly was Mabruk going to do? He gets interrupted by Amalthea, so we never find out. This is one of the parts of the play where I think a little mask and puppet design would help:

First you can see the mask- this is an old sketch and though I like the bushy eyebrows I might not include the moustache- I'm thinking I want to use the same mask for both Nikos (yes, Nikos actually appears onstage in this adaptation!) and Mabruk- just use different beards. So I can highlight similarities between the two- both are masters of the trade to which Schmendrick aspires- just one is nice, and one is...not-so-nice.

As you might be able to tell from the sketch, here's my idea for what Mabruk was about to do- in our adaptation, he turns himself into a huge, horrible monster. He's vindictive enough that he wants to get his revenge on Haggard personally. So we've got these monster arms I've started work on that other actors will manipulate, while we give the actor playing Mabruk a little extra height as well by hoisting him up. The third component of this moment is some sort of monstrous face that Mabruk will put on as well- a second mask on top of the first one. I'm still mulling over what I want it to look like, but I'll post a sketch when I've decided. Cool, huh?

1 comment:

POD said...

I think he should cast a spell of invisibility. In this way he can spy on Haggard, work malicious mischief, invade everyone's privacy, and gloat over the results of his evil works, all with impunity. Plus the mask suddenly becomes much less of a problem.