Author: Cesc Martínez

Saguenay: a journey through contemporary puppets

As the days at the Festival International des Arts de la Marionnette – ManiganSes pass by, one gets more and more seduced by its excellent mood and the daily surprise of seeing a top quality show. Its Artistic Director, Éric Chalifour, has combined old, almost classic productions with newer proposals. Besides, these last ones are conceived pretty much out of commercial standards or they require a special attention from the audience. The whole program asks to raise one’s expectations indeed. A festival of this kind, a featured reference within the world of puppets both renowned internationally and strictly linked...

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A tribute to Felix Mirbt opened the 12th edition of ManiganSes

Felix Mirbt was born in 1931 in Breslau, Germany, currently Poland. He got to Quebec in the decade of 1950s and died in Sutton, near to Montréal, in 2002. His extensive artistic production evolved from a classical type of marionettes to a sort of abstract theatre —a powerful career recognized all over. Now, in the 10th anniversary of his death, the company Théâtre de la Pire Espèce and Marcelle Hudon opened ManiganSes – Festival International des Art de la Marionnette à Saguenay, in Quebec, Canada, with a wide look on their master’s work. The show ‘Die Reise, ou les...

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“They say puppets have soul, but this is not true” Interview with Martin Růžička

Martin Růžička is a carver and marionette builder from Prague, Czech Republic. The accurate work and the quality of crafted wooden puppets made in Prague are well known worldwide, as well as Růžička’s pieces. Martin has not learned his job from tradition, thus this could be the reason of his very personal work. He likes to provoke, to play the role of a post-punk artisan and use a smart sense of humor. He is a self-taught artist —or I should rather say “worker”, as he states making marionettes is just a work for him. However, after talking with him,...

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Theater Trittbrettl: 30 years renewing Kasperl

Heini Brossmann and his Theater Trittbrettl performed at La Strada Festival, in Graz, Austria, a very personal version of traditional Kasperl puppet shows (see this article about the Festival). This year is the 30th anniversary of this company, in coincidence with the 15 years of La Strada, so its Artistic Director, Werner Schrempf, asked Brossmann to do something new. The result is ‘Das Kroko Dicke Dil’, co-produced by La Strada. In this show, Kasperl faces a new difficulty and the help of the puppeteer and the musician, Peter Marnul, will be needed: the Crocodile, Kasperl’s antagonist, does not want...

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La Strada, Graz: installation art, contemporary theatre and puppetry

Festival La Strada in Graz, Austria, turned 15 years this edition. This Internacional Festival of Street Art and Puppet Theatre has evolved in many directions. Whereas open air performances went into contemporary urban interventions, puppetry is more concentrated in traditional and local forms. Even being open to newer expressions —Neville Tranter’s Stuffet Puppet Theatre or mask theatre company Familie Flöz have been several times in La Strada— artistic director Werner Shrempf has changed the focus of the program from a more strictly puppetry festival into a mixture of languages. ‘Les Ravouilleurs’, by Jo Bithume. This is year is the...

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