Mantao the Jester King & The Drift of Ice

by manfred kyber

Many thousands of years ago, when the night was weaving her tapestry of stars over the sacred land of Tibet, Mantao the Jester King was born in a lotus flower. Delivered to earth by an angel, saved from the plague and raised by a mendicant monk, Mantao is a king of the mountains, destined to be a shield- bearer and protect mankind. However, his path is long and no one can see the crown he wears, mistaking him instead for a jester. Follow the threads of Mantao’s story as he travels to the City of the Bright Lamps and the City of the Extinguished Lamps, accompanied by a little monkey, aided by a man with elephant ears and an enchanting dancer, and thwarted by the greed of Princess Amaranth. Will he find his way to his Queen of the Distant Lands and return full circle to the mountains?

“The Drift of Ice” has a very different tone, exploring the powerful conflict in one young woman’s heart between Society’s influence and expectations, and the raw power of nature that exits in each of us.

We staged both original adaptations as a double-bill in 2009.

"I didn't know any of Kyber's work so it was fascinating stuff - was struck by how Ibsenesque Drift of Ice was - especially the final images - just like Nora's fears in Doll's. The issues of late 18th C female self-discovery is very interesting. Mantao was charming and brought back many happy memories of travels in India a few years ago!"

matt beresford, london