掌中出洋招

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1989 / 3月

文‧蔡文婷 圖‧王煒昶


一九七四年初,廿一歲的法國籍班任旅化身為「三藏」,千里迢迢由巴黎前來台北「取經」——學習中國的掌中戲。

師徒學藝之際,他發現外國觀眾不太能接受純中國的布袋戲演出方式,尤其是兒童觀眾;於是班任旅改變「招式」,以中西合璧方式演出,自創一格。出師後,他的劇團取名「小宛然」,周遊列國演出,逐漸打響了名氣。並將印度的童話故事「阿拉丁神燈」改編為布袋戲,加入許多現代劇場的燈光和佈景,帶回台北為師傅李天祿祝壽。


晚上七點半,小宛然掌中劇團的團長班任旅和工作夥伴陸佩玉,搭起「阿拉丁神燈」的戲台。西式布景和人物造型,吸引了清一色的小孩和他們的父母親;而不見布袋戲一般的老戲迷。

後場裡林林總總的「機關」和各式W仔(布偶),惹得小觀眾忍不住在戲台邊探頭探腦,小聲的和同伴耳語:「皇宮唉!」「你看,那邊有個公主W仔,好漂亮哦。」

燈光打亮,好戲上場。阿拉丁的老母親和傳統的布袋戲W仔一樣,拄著杖,一步一步有模有樣的走出台前。

神奇的阿拉丁

戲台雖然是西式的「皇宮」造型,卻仍具有傳統「出將入相」的功能。在活潑的「木笛聲」中,挨罵的阿拉丁在二層的戲台上跳上跳下和老母親捉迷藏。

燈光轉弱,壞心的魔術師出現,邪聲怪調地找上阿拉丁,要他一同前去取神燈。一路上翻山越嶺,好不辛苦,布景同時以「幻燈機」投影出不同的景緻,有時繁花燦爛、有時綠樹鬱鬱,有時則巨石磊磊。

景物數度變換後,到達藏神燈的洞穴,魔術師唸著咒語「喃摩呢吧轟」一陣「煙火」過後,洞門打開了。台前的小朋友和阿拉丁同樣為魔術師的法力感到驚奇。

在阿拉丁取回神燈之後,無意間擦、擦、擦,喚來神燈大力士。班仔利用「影戲」原理,以木板在底幕上造出一個巨無霸的神燈大力士,紅紅的眼和活動的嘴,配合「電子魔音」效果,好不熱鬧。而他「口語化」的對白,加上一點點洋腔洋調,惹得觀眾開懷大笑。

戲法人人會變

接著背景一換,悠揚的「豎琴」聲中,美麗的阿薇布朵公主正在池畔沐浴整裝。在柔和的月色下,「噴水池」的水花晶瑩亮麗,小朋友看得張大了嘴。

除了燈光、噴水池、音效上的取巧,班仔也不忘插上一段中國偶戲的雜耍特技。

在戲裡的慶典中,各路賣藝者、雜耍團紛紛獻藝慶祝;刀槍對打,翻、滾、拋、跳各顯本事。而後場上,陸佩玉則聚精會神地撐起一個轉盤、二個轉盤、三個轉盤、四個轉盤,台前小丑的雙手、頭、足全用上了。表演完還不忘「下台一鞠躬」討了個滿堂采。

幾經波折之後,阿拉丁失去公主和神燈。但他憑著智慧和勇氣打敗魔術師找回公主。所有的布偶為此高興地翩翩起舞。一、二、三、四、五、六、七……十四。哇!只有兩位演師的小宛然,竟能讓「十四個」布偶一起跳宮廷舞。此技法再一次令觀眾們大開眼界。戲演完了,觀眾不禁趨前去看個清楚。所謂「三分前場,七分後場」,小宛然的後場雖然沒有弦仔鑼鼓,卻有電腦、幻燈機、水箱、馬達、齒輪等等現代科技之助,無怪乎能有「特技連連」的演出。

與傳統戲碼大異其趣

和上一場傳統戲碼「西遊記」相較,不僅後場大異其趣,從觀眾群中,也可看出兩者的取向完全不同。傳統偶戲多是酬神、廟會時演出,對象是神及成人。因此即使是充滿神怪、逗趣的西遊記,演出仍然十分嚴肅,但看門道的老戲迷欣賞的正是那抑揚頓挫的文言口白、鑼鼓嘈切的北管音樂,以及每一個擬似真人的戲偶操作。自然不必以舞台、燈光設計來妨礙觀賞重點。

但是對時下的小孩而言,學校裡沒有任何與傳統戲劇相關的課程,他們連傳統音樂都沒聽過,甚至不會講閩南語,更遑論去欣賞那口出文言閩南語的布袋戲了。

而小宛然的演出,主要對象是小朋友及被小孩引來的父母親,因此劇本挑選、戲台、音樂、口白設計上無不充滿了童趣;而加入西方劇場的技巧,如將燈光設計輸入電腦以變化氣氛,將音樂先錄成盤帶由頭手遙控,或以幻燈機投影出不同場景,都使得演出一氣呵成,加強戲劇效果。而煙火、噴水池、皮影戲等林林總總的機關,則更吸引小觀眾分秒也不願將視線移開。

有觀眾才有生命

對於這個洋徒弟所交的成績單,李天祿認為:「班仔的創作真不錯,雖然W仔、劇情是西洋的,音樂是新創的,但動作及出將入相,都沒違背傳統布袋戲W仔的動作,這種表演方式我贊成。」

而實際上,班仔改變演出方式,也是來自李天祿的建議。老師傅覺得,外國人在台灣學中國布袋戲,如果回到自己的國家,還是儘演中國的故事,將難以使一般人認同。因為戲劇對藝人而言,雖是一份藝術,但更重要的是一份職業,所以必須有觀眾才能有生命。而西方豐富的神話故事,即可成為豐裕的創作資源。

恰巧,班任旅也有此打算。對於台灣傳統戲劇逐漸被電視、電動玩具等其他娛樂所取代,連來自法國的班仔也相當憂心,並想為布袋戲找尋新的演出方式與觀眾群。他在一九八五年推出了歐洲經典故事「奧德賽」,第一次的創作稍顯凌亂,但此番「阿拉丁」的演出,則因班仔曾演過舞台劇,並邀約一位也來自法國控制電腦的夥伴周立業加入編排,整個演出更趨成熟。

戲好,機器也好

或許內行人會覺得,班仔在布偶操作上仍有待改進。但甫自法回國,任教於東海美術系民俗藝術製作課程的王麗嘉則表示:「小宛然的演出著重整體配合,並非如傳統偶戲以刻劃布偶性格為主,不能單以技巧不夠精巧來否定他的成就。」

而且小宛然在製作上可是一點也不馬虎。陸佩玉表示,製作這一齣新戲大約得花上一年的時間。劇本是班仔寫的,木偶造型參考古書,偶頭則由班仔從事雕刻藝術的繼父負責,服裝自己設計。為了減少開支,能自己作的,儘量不假他人之手。但音樂、燈光、舞台需請專業人才設計,因此一齣戲仍得花費台幣七十五到八十萬元,「這還不包括五十萬台幣的電腦設備」,她說。

問起班仔如何設計這一切,他攤開雙手、縮縮脖子的說:「要問我的腦子才知道,是它這麼想的。」樣子活像齊天大聖孫悟空,表情逗趣,動作又多。老師父李天祿說起這個寶貝徒弟,也是又搖頭又點頭的。

遠來的和尚學念經

班任旅是李天祿第一個外國弟子。十五年前,他和李天祿比手劃腳的學戲;在國內沒有年輕人肯耐性學習布袋戲之下,老師父對於這個法國來的「少年郎」投注了相當的熱情,也因此每回說起班仔剛開始三個月「學三天,放七天的偷懶勁兒。」老師父就一肚子火。

後來,班仔的父親特別自法國來向師父說情,並訓斥兒子一頓,而同門也多了一位外國師妹尹曉菁做伴,班仔才收心開始學戲。除了學布袋戲的操作,也認真地做老師指定的作業——按時到國軍文藝中心看平劇,並收集了一百六十幾個布袋戲偶。

現在在新埔國中及平等國小教前場的師父李傳燦就笑著說:「班仔的手大,學布袋戲稍晚,因此動作較不靈活。有人告訴他多喝醋會使骨頭軟些,班仔就真的拿醋當開水,一杯一杯地喝。」

慢工出細活

一九七八年,班仔和師妹陸佩玉組成了「小宛然」劇團,佩玉的動作細膩、反應快,又會縫戲服,兩人聯手演出,不論是小學、公園、塞那河遊艇上,即使「沒人請也自己開開心心地就地表演起來」。到處演出後,名氣逐漸打開,除了法國,英國、荷蘭、義大利、瑞士、西德也都可以看到小宛然的演出了。

而收藏中國文物的法國郭安博物館更長期免費將場地借給小宛然使用,定期演給小學生看。

班仔總是沒讓師父失望,而且「師渡徒,徒渡師」,在班任旅的促成下,李天祿也多次到日本、法國演出,並且授徒。

王麗嘉認為,小宛然之成名,中間經過多年傳統偶戲技巧的學習、各種不同場地的奔波演出、累積無數次實際經驗,才開始嘗試製作出新戲,並非一步登天。而台灣目前布袋戲的危機,是一時興起的玩票者多於全心投入者,新興劇團往往過早自立門戶,在基本功夫不夠紮實下,短時間即掏空所有,「這無異是揠苗助長、摧其夭折」,她說。

目前小宛然一年演出近兩百場,傳統與創新戲碼都演,足跡走過卅五個國家,並曾在法國最重要的Chatelet劇場演出四十九場,場場轟動。

演完阿拉丁之後,班仔轉往香港、中國大陸演出。他留下了一份阿拉丁的劇本與音樂帶,供國內有興趣的團體參考,以期進一步推廣傳統布袋戲的可能性。

在後場師父日漸難尋的情況下,布袋戲除了保留傳統形式演出,的確有必要尋找新途徑。小宛然出自傳統,但有新意。不論是班任旅個人的學習精神,或是演出型式都值得國內有人心參考。

〔圖片說明〕

P.52

紅眼巨形的神燈大力士好不嚇人,到背後瞧瞧,原來不過是木板投影的效果罷了。

P.53

幻燈機隨著不同劇情打出不同景緻,配合燈光、音樂,帶給觀眾新的布袋戲經驗。

P.53

「三分前場、七分後場」,小宛然的後場少了傳統的鑼鼓弦仔,換上了電腦、音響、幻燈機……。

P.53

除了現代化「機關」厲害,班仔和陸佩玉的掌上功夫也不馬虎。

P.54

我們遠比不上班仔對布袋戲的專注與用心。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

Chinese Puppetry with a Western Twist

Ventine Tsai /photos courtesy of Wei-chang Wang /tr. by Peter Eberly

Back in 1974, Jean-Luc Pensol, then 21, traveled as a latter-day pilgrim of the arts all the way from Paris to Taipei to become a student of the ancient Chinese art of puppetry.

In the course of his apprenticeship, he discovered that foreign audiences, especially children, have a hard time accepting puppetry in a purely Chinese form, so he developed a new method of performance that combines Chinese and Western styles. After becoming a puppet master, he founded a troupe called the Little Mirror Theater, which performs nearly 200 times a year and has toured in 35 countries.


Late last year, he returned with the troupe to Taipei to perform a version he wrote of "Aladdin and His Magic Lamp" that incorporates a number of advanced sound and lighting effects from the contemporary stage. The performance was offered as a birthday present for his teacher, Li T'ien-lu.

At 7:30 in the evening, Jean-Luc Pensol, master of the Little Mirror Theater, and his assistant, Catherine Larue, began to set up the stage for "Aladdin and His Magic Lamp." The exotic backdrop and the colorful characters immediately captured the interest of the numerous children in the audience along with that of their parents. Several little tykes couldn't resist peeking behind stage to see what was up. "Wow! Look at that!" they exclaimed.

Then the lights went on and the show began. Aladdin's aged mother, leaning on a staff, hobbled onstage just like the old crone in a traditional Chinese puppet play.

The lights dimmed, and an evil sorcerer appeared, who promptly tricked Aladdin into going to the cave with him to fetch the magic lamp. Scenes of gorgeous flowers, lush forests, and desolate boulders were projected on the backdrop as they made their way into the mountains.

At the entrance to the cave, the sorcerer recited a magic spell and the door opened with a flash of fireworks. When Aladdin accidentally rubbed the lamp, a huge, redeyed genie appeared on the screen behind him, accompanied by sound effects from an electronic synthesizer. The simple dialogue, spoken with a slightly foreign accent, aroused the audience's boisterous laughter.

After various twists and turns of the plot, Aladdin, relying on his wit and bravery, defeated the evil sorcerer and won the hand of a beautiful princess. All the puppets danced joyously together at the finale: one, two, three, four . . . fourteen of them in all--and manipulated by just two puppeteers!

After the show, the audience pressed forward for a look backstage. "Three parts onstage, and seven parts behind," the saying goes, and indeed, instead of the drums, gongs, and Chinese fiddles of the traditional puppet theater, the backstage of the Little Mirror Theater was crammed with motors, winches, sound equipment, a slide projector, an electronic synthesizer . . . .

Compared with the Chinese puppet play just before it, which presented a story from Journey to the West, "Aladdin" was completely different in tone and spirit as well as in backstage equipment. Traditional Chinese puppet plays are mainly performed at temples and aimed at an audience of adults. So that even a story as fanciful and fun-filled as that in Journey to the West is performed in a thoroughly serious way. What knowledgeable aficionados appreciate is the refined and antiquated dialogue, the raucous pei-kuan music, and the dexterous manipulation of the puppets. For them, flashy lighting and stage effects would only spoil the show's finer points.

Children today, however, may never have been exposed to traditional Chinese music, and they often find the literary dialect of the plays largely unintelligible.

The performance by the Little Mirror Theater was aimed at just these children. The choice of script, the sets, the music, the simple dialogue, and the stunning stage effects were all designed to entertain the little ones.

Pensol was Li T'ien-lu's first foreign student and received his special attention. "Pensol has big hands and he took up puppetry fairly late," recalls Li's son, Li Ch'ang-ts'an, now a Chinese puppetry instructor. "Somebody told him that drinking vinegar would make his bones softer, and he really did drink it just like water, glass after glass."

Many of us may have come into contact with Chinese puppetry at an earlier age, but few of us can harbor the same devotion toward it.

After performing "Aladdin" the Little Mirror Theater went off to Hong Kong and mainland China, but they left behind a script and a tape recording for local troupes interested in expanding the possibilities of traditional Chinese puppetry.

[Picture Caption]

This giant genie looks fearsome, but take a look behind. He's really just the shadow from a piece of wood.

Using a slide projector to project different backgrounds, match ed with advanced lighting and sound effects, provides a new experience for Chinese puppet fans.

"Three parts onstage, seven parts behind." The traditional drums, gongs, and fiddles have been replaced by advanced sound equipment, a slide projector, and a synthesizer.

Besides making use of modern gadgetry, Pensol and his assistant are no slouches at manipulation either.

Pensol's devotion to his art is intense.

 

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