Month: April 2012

FIMFA 2012 in Lisbon

Lisbon —one week to FIMFA in Lisbon, that will take part in several places of the city and also at the Museu da Marioneta, May 4th-20th. This festival is directed by the company A Tarumba and Puppetring will follow it to keep our readers up to date. So now we want to feature some parts of its program. Rod Burnett will start FIMFA this year with his Punch & Judy show. He is a “Professor” at The Punch and Judy College, an “as academic as a school of whales and as organized as a string of sausages” institution, according...

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Lebanon-Egypt Spring Festival going on!

These days, the theatre and music Spring Festival is being held. (See the program here.) This is celebrated simoultaneously in Egypt and Lebanon, in the Egyptian cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Minya, and Assiut, and in Lebanon at the Horsh and the Sunflower Theatre in Beirut and Beit El Fan in Tripoli. The opening of this festival was by Cengiz Özek, from Turkey, with his show ‘Garbage Monster’. Özek is one of the most acclaimed shadow puppeteers in the world, as he renewed and is currently running the Turkish traditional puppet of Karagöz —very popular during the Ottoman period. Since...

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Happy Book Day!

In some parts of the world, today is the Book Day. The coincidence of the Christian Fest of Saint George in countries like Catalonia or England, and ephemeries like the death of William Shakespeare or Miguel de Cervantes, in Spain, makes April 23rd a very special day. Besides, Spring seems to be a good time for books and readings —that is possibly why March 1st was declared World Book Day. However, many books about puppets recently came out. One of the most celebrated ones is ‘Puppet. An Essay on Uncanny Life’, by Kenneth Gross (October 2011). Through more than...

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Puppet theatre in Cuba, between decline and hope (Part 1)

The history of puppet theatre in Cuba is very young and at its core has a bitter taste. In contrast to other countries with long puppet traditions, in ours the art of animation began to be practiced professionally in the middle of the twentieth century. Before that, puppets in Cuba were simply a form of entertainment for schools, fairs and popular festivals, something rustic and improvised. An important event occured, however: a visit by the Italian company Teatro dei Piccolli —directed by Vittorio Podrecca— in the 1930’s, which caused a strong impression among artists and theatre people. From the...

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‘Punch & Judy in Afghanistan’

Punch may be different, such as theater magician Neville Tranter shows with his newest production ‘Punch & Judy in Afghanistan’. In this small stage-show in the old Guignol style, Tranter manages to give his audience laughter and food for thought simultaneously. A real must-see-show! —Nigel, a puppeteer, has come to Afghanistan to entertain the allied troops. His assistant, Emile, wants to make a sightseeing trip on top of a camel. The flashlight of Nigel’s camera scares the camel, who runs off in panic with Emile still on its back. They have disappeared in the direction of Tora Bora. Nigel...

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