Áfram Latibær

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Áfram Latibær is the first LazyTown stage production, a play aimed at children based on the book by Magnús Scheving. It premiered in 1996.

Credits

Crew

Flugfélagið Loftur (Theatre) 1996

By Magnús Scheving. (Adapted for stage by Magnús and Baltasar Kormákur)

Cast

  • Magnús Scheving - Íþróttaálfurinn - (Sportacus) - An energetic elf who shows up unannounced to persuade the people of Latibær to change their lifestyles.
  • Magnús Ólafsson - Bæjarstjórinn - (Mayor Meanswell) - The well meaning mayor of Latibær who is disillusioned with the town’s situation. He wants the citizens to participate in a sports competition but struggles to get their attention.
  • Sigurveig Jónsdóttir - Stína Símalína - (Bessie Busybody) - An old lady who enjoys smoking and gossiping over the telephone. While most of the town are put off by her loud and rude behaviour, the mayor appears to have a slight crush on her.
  • Selma Björnsdóttir - Solla Stirða - (Stephanie) - A clumsy girl with painfully stiff joints. Despite this, she dreams of being a good dancer.
  • Steinn Ármann Magnússon - Siggi Sæti - (Ziggy) - A chubby boy who is obsessed with candy and being a hero like Superman. He is rather naïve but very enthusiastic.
  • Ingrid Jónsdóttir - Halla Hrekkjusvín - (Trixie) - A troublemaker who enjoys bullying others and playing with her catapult. As she only ever upsets those around her, she lacks friends.
  • Ólafur Guðmundsson - Nenni Níski - (Stingy) - A greedy boy who likes to claim everything for himself and is unable to share.
  • Jón Stefán Kristjánsson - Goggi Mega - (Pixel) - A whiz kid who is obsessed with technology, from TV to video games and calculators. He has invented a device to let him view ten screens at once, and shies away from active play.
  • Pálína Jónsdóttir - Eyrún Eyðslukló - (Penny Pestella) - A money obsessed girl who doesn’t know the meaning of frugality. She begs people into giving her money, only to immediately spend it.
  • Sigurjón Kjartansson - Maggi Mjói - (Jives) - A lethargic boy who suffers from malnutrition. He is very picky about his diet, only eating cereal and refusing to try anything new.
  • Ari Matthiasson - Lolli Lögga - (Officer Obtuse) - A bumbling policeman who is a bit of a pushover. Due to his poor workout, he often fails to catch criminals.
  • Ari Matthiasson - Pósturinn - (Postman) - A minor character who appears in the opening scenes. He frequently sleeps on the job, forcing others to have to take the post off him.
  • Sveinn Geirsson and Dofri Hermannsson - Stórbær Competitors/Burglars - Citizens of a rival town who compete against Latibær in the sports competition

Premise

LazyTown is full of colourful characters who have a very negative attitude towards physical activity, healthy food and so on. They prefer to stuff themselves with sweets and watch television all day. As a result they are all weak and flabby. To change this, the Sports-Elf arrives, and through his positive attitude, driving magnetism and by not taking no for an answer, he persuades the inhabitants to change their destructive lifstyle.

Plot Synopsis

Look at This LazyTown

The play opens with the postman on his delivery round. He soon finds this tiring, and lies down in front of a house, attempting to sleep. Bæjarstjórinn (Mayor Meanswell) enters, singing a downbeat song about how disillusioned he has become with the town due to its poor life style, believing nothing can change it (Lífið er fúlt í Latabæ). He wakes the postman, who gets him to take his own post. This turns out to be a letter from The President, who intends on holding a sports competition in Latibær. This cheers up the mayor, who sings an upbeat reprise of his song for the good news (Líttu á þetta Latibær). He starts to believe that this will bring some energy back to the townsfolk, but after failing to capture the interest of the postman, he realises that he has to publicise the contest in order to get people to compete.

The Mayor goes to consult Stína (Bessie Busybody) as a publicity expert, as she knows everyone in town. Stína is busy gossiping over the phone, leaving him to call out her name and knock on her door repeatedly before he gets a response (Stína Símalína (song)). When he suggests that she is good at spreading news, Stína takes offense, believing he is implying she talks too much, and insisting that she barely talks to anyone. She storms off, only to immediately get into a phone call where she gossips about her encounter with him. As the mayor laments about the lack of help he is getting and the various problems in town, Halla (Trixie) enters, firing her catapult at him, insulting him for his external monologue and farting in his face before running off laughing. He then encounters Goggi (Pixel), who is climbing a roof, and questions his unusual glasses. Goggi claims he invented them to watch ten screens at the same time and ignores the Mayor’s suggestions for alternatives to TV, rattling out which programmes he might miss. When the Mayor mentions the sports competition, the word “sports” alarms him so much that he falls over backwards off the roof. The Mayor decides to sleep on the matter, hoping the townsfolk will be more willing to hear him out the next day.

After his morning routine, the Mayor decides to begin more active publicity, donning his old tracksuit and calling for a town meeting, something he has never tried before. He runs around town announcing the meeting via a megaphone. Everyone turns up, but arrive in noisy cars which pollute the atmosphere. After having got them to turn them off, Halla plays another prank, manipulating his microphone with a string, and everyone laughs at him. The townsfolk mock and dismiss the idea of competing in unison, coming up with various excuses why they shouldn’t, such as a lack of uniforms, the chance of getting sprained and a general lack of interest in sports. They eventually leave mid meeting, leaving the Mayor on his own.

The Sports Elf

Alone and disenchanted once more, The Mayor sings about how bad a rut the town is in and his hopes have been dashed (Öllu er lokið Latibær). Just as he mentions that the competition will have to be called off, Íþróttaálfurinn (Sportacus) spontaneously enters, and introduces himself in the form of a song (Íþróttaálfurinn (song)). The Mayor asks for his help in convincing the citizens to reconsider, and Íþróttaálfurinn obliges.

Siggi (Ziggy) sings to himself in bed about his love of sweets (Siggi Sæti (song)). Íþróttaálfurinn listens in and suddenly announces himself, greatly startling Siggi. Siggi is automatically amused but disinterested in the concept of a sports elf, but Íþróttaálfurinn is persistent and tells him to eat less candy and exercise. Siggi immediately twigs on that this is about the sports competition and refuses. After he is told that his addiction to candy has caused him to gain weight and could risk his dental health, Siggi admits that having discovered sweets at a young age, they became an increasing addiction. Íþróttaálfurinn suggests fruit and vegetables as an alternative, but is dismissed again, forcing him to try a new tactic. He states that it’s okay to enjoy candy if he limits his consumption of it, suggesting that that having a specific candy eating day might be a good structure for Siggi to follow. He then asks about Siggi’s muscles, which Siggi insists are just like Superman’s. After Íþróttaálfurinn scoffs at this, he starts to finally cave in to his advice of toning down his candy consumption and brushing his teeth, only to be alarmed at the suggestion of exercise. Íþróttaálfurinn tells him it’s okay to be chubby, but that doing activities beyond sitting and eating would greatly benefit him. Siggi realises that this will make him more like Superman, and as the sports elf leaves, he begins to work out, using a comically large caramel as a dumbbell.

Íþróttaálfurinn next encounters Goggi, who is watching several TVs in darkened room and singing about his love of technology (Goggi Mega (song)). Íþróttaálfurinn appears inside a hollowed out TV, and Goggi mistakes him as part of a programme, repeatedly trying to turn him off or change the channel with a remote. Íþróttaálfurinn quickly tires of this routine, trying to grab his attention by knocking on his head everytime he turns to look at the remote and eventually grabbing him by his pyjamas and telling him that too much TV is damaging for his brain. Goggi is naturally shaken up, but admits that in the past he wanted to pursue creative activities such as drawing and writing but lost interest after becoming hooked on television. Íþróttaálfurinn shares a rather grim proverbial rhyme, encouraging him to seize the day and make use of his time by watching less TV and playing outdoors. When Goggi shows a lack of familiarity with all the games he then namedrops, Íþróttaálfurinn promises to teach him games he can play with the other children.

Elsewhere, Maggi (Jives) is having an argument with his off-stage mother, who repeatedly suggests food he could eat, of which he rejects all of in favour of cocoa puffs (Maggi Mjói (song)). Íþróttaálfurinn enters, and accuses him of being defiant and stubborn. Maggi, struggling to remain upright with his skinny and frail body, denies this, claiming he acts the way he does because he doesn’t like most food. He states that he only likes cereal, which he eats at lunch and dinner. Íþróttaálfurinn acts out a demonstration of different ways of preparing food, and how the more they are processed, the lower they score as being healthy. He then jots down a food timetable for Maggi to follow, and exits. The idea of improving his diet to reduce his lethargic tendencies appeals to him, but before he contemplate on this further, Eyrún enters and starts begging him for money. Maggi states that he has nothing to give her, agrees with his mother’s latest meal suggestion and exits. Eyrún sings about her poor spending habits, explaining how she pressurises people into giving her money only to spend it immediately on things she doesn’t need (Eyrún Eyðslukló (song)). Lolli (Officer Obtuse) enters and instantly agrees to give Eyrún money before being alarmed by Íþróttaálfurinn running past. He is too slow to catch up, as no one runs in Latibær, leaving him to helplessly call after him with no reply.

Íþróttaálfurinn helps Solla (Stephanie) to perform a dance, moving her limbs and carrying her around, as her joints are too stiff to do so alone, something she laments (Solla Stirða (song)). Each of these movements hurts her, and she ends the song in tears as she admits she can’t even bend down to tie her shoes. He tells her to exercise and shows her a stretch to help her loosen up, telling her to do this everyday before leaving her screaming in a stretching pose. Solla is impressed by his flexibility and continues to stretch regardless of the pain. As she does this, Halla hits her with a catapult, causing her to run off calling for help. Halla finds this funny and boasts how everyone is afraid of her (Halla Hrekkjusvín (song)). Íþróttaálfurinn tells her off and gives chase when she attempts to flee, cornering her off as she attempts to hide behind a bin. After she states she doesn’t care that her actions in bullying others are wrong, he tries to get her to see the difference between playing and being mean, which she considers one and the same. He demonstrates that pulling people’s hair and fighting them with permission is playing around, while doing so uninvited is mean. As no one wants to have their hair pulled, it’s not fair play. After being shaken up, Halla admits no one wants to play with her as she is friendless. Íþróttaálfurinn explains that her actions will not win her any friends, and tries to take her catapult. She refuses to give it up, planning to use it against animals instead, but he encourages her to play with Goggi, who has since learnt outdoor games, and suggests that she puts her throwing skills to good use by entering the javelin throw at the sports competition. This idea appeals to her, but the two are interrupted by Nenni (Stingy), who brags about how much he owns and starts claiming everything on the street as his (Nenni Níski (song)). Íþróttaálfurinn sits in a bus stop and repeatedly hums Nenni’s song, which irritates him, as both the bus stop and the song are his. He then refuses to enter the sports competition under the belief that he would win every event. Íþróttaálfurinn tells him that it is okay to participate and lose, but Nenni is distracted by claiming the hill the elf arrived from as his. All of the town’s children enter, and Íþróttaálfurinn starts a group workout session.

After some time passes, the Mayor tries to locate Íþróttaálfurinn, but instead encounters Eyrún, who begs him for money. He refuses, saying she should pay back borrowed money by earning some for herself, suggesting she finds work at the competition. She tries to get him to pay her in advance, but as the competition hasn’t been fully confirmed yet, he refuses again and he leaves to find Íþróttaálfurinn. While she insists this is a contract breach, Íþróttaálfurinn enters and gives her a piggy bank, teaching her to save money so that she can afford the pair of ice skates she wants. She likes the idea, but panics that she can’t get work as the competition isn’t confirmed. Íþróttaálfurinn admits to her in secret that it is.

Preparing for the Competition

The mayor decides that the competition will never work and considers becoming mayor of a different town, before Íþróttaálfurinn enters with the now active townsfolk and tells him that the competition will go on. They sing a reprise of “Líttu á þetta Latibær” among altered verses of some of the character songs as the townsfolk demonstrate their improvements. Solla sings about how she is now flexible, Nenni sings about how he is willing to perform teamwork as all of his friends are his, Siggi sings about how he will run a stand selling fruit and vegetables to help others achieve, and Eyrún sings about her new found frugality. During the song, Íþróttaálfurinn leaves unannounced.

Maggi then enters having tried porridge for the first time, declaring it’s the best thing he’s ever eaten. The mayor reminds everyone that the competition is fast approaching and that the final training session will be soon. He starts to assign everyone roles, making Lolli the team captain and giving Nenni the task of starting the relay race, despite his unwillingness to give anyone the baton. He then suggests Maggi’s light body would make him good at pole-vaulting. Siggi tries to join in but his weight causes him to tumble over a wall and fall, prompting the Mayor to advice he sticks to his fruit stand idea. Eyrún, who is now working as an assistant to the mayor, enters with an important package, the prize cup, which is to be kept in Latibær until the awards ceremony. The citizens, eager to win the cup, begin a reprise of “Líttu á þetta Latibær” but are interrupted by Stina, who scares them off and is insulted she isn’t being included. The others tell her off for smoking in a public place and dumping the cigarette butt in the street, as they wish to keep the town clean. The Mayor forces their team captain, Lolli, to give Stina a role, and he assigns her as announcer. Goggi sets up the microphone, which Stina tests by singing loudly into it. The citizens declare that she can be official announcer so long as she doesn’t sing again. Lolli then commences the final training session, and the town continue their reprise of “Líttu á þetta Latibær”. Lolli suddenly remembers the lack of uniforms and starts to panic, until Nenni reveals that his dad purchased sports outfits for the whole town.

Sports Day

That night, two burglars from a rival town, Stórbær, enter and attempt to steal the cup. They set off an alarm which alerts Lolli, who gives chase. When he successfully captures them, he tells the Mayor that working out helped him to do this. The Mayor suggests that as punishment, the criminals should do the washing up from the sports competition. Lolli is so pleased with this idea that he accidentally unhands them, and another frantic chase begins. Lolli and the Mayor clumsily catch each other, but the burglars crash into them and are knocked out. At their success, they sing about being able to catch criminals with their quick movements (Löggulagið). During the song, the burglars make several more attempts to escape, but are caught each time. They are lead out to be shown the washing up implements, and the cup remains safe.

The play cuts to late into the sports competition, where the Stórbær competitors boast about winning. Nenni retorts, saying the cup will be his, but is reminded by the other Latibær contenders that the cup will be everyone’s. Stina announces the winner of the shot-put, Halla, who wins a medal. As Goggi calculates the current score, Siggi sells fruits and Lolli offers a pep talk, while the Mayor congratulates Maggi for his pole vaulting performance. Maggi admits that he thought he would never come back down after jumping. Stina then announces the results, a tie, meaning the results lie in the relay race. The race begins, but Nenni accidentally starts late and runs in the wrong direction until corrected. When it is his turn to pass the baton, Solla is forced to pry it from his hands to continue the race, making it a dead heat. Slowed down footage reveals that Solla won the race by a small margin, and Latibær win the cup.

The town celebrate with a big song and dance praising Latibær and denouncing Lazytown (Áfram Latibær!). Part way through the song, they call for Íþróttaálfurinn to return and join in the celebrations, as the one who made it happen. At the song’s concluding verse, everyone agrees to rename the town Leikbær due to the apparent lack of laziness. The play concludes with everyone posing.

Trivia

  • Eyrún Eyðslukló is the only character introduced not to return in the sequel play, Glanni Glaepur í Latabae. One of her character traits, her obsession to money, is given to Nenni.
  • This play is one of a rare few pieces of LazyTown material to make reference to character’s parents. The voice of Maggi’s mother is heard proximately off-stage and Nenni makes a passing reference to his dad.