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 to their own definition, where we can also find Professor Edwards, head of The Big Grin in London, the meeting to commemorate the 350th anniversary Mr. Punch. With Professor Burnett, FIMFA 2012 will also commemorate the centennial birthday of this traditional character.

During the first weekend of the festival we will also be able to see a contemporary version of a Punch & Judy performance, by another master of puppeteering: the Dutch Neville Tranter, with his company Stuffed Puppet Theatre. Tranter’s latest creation, entitled ‘Punch and Judy in Afghanistan’, puts Nigel, a puppeteer, and his assistant in this Asian country, where they have gone to entertain the the international coalition troops. The disappearance of the assistant will bring Nigel to Tora Bora, where he will meet Punch Bin Laden. A comentary on this show has been already published in our website.

Already entered in the first week of the festival, A Tarumba presents the Israeli Yael Rasooly (May 9th and 10th) in ‘Paper Cut’, a show created using the techniques of paper cutting and object theater in which the artist claims the value of low-tech and 1940s cinema. Also, the Italian Costanza Givone (May 13th) will bring ‘Salome lost her Light’ —a version of the play ‘Salome’ by Oscar Wilde.

In the second week, we have to underline the performances M1.1 and M1.2. Under the name Marioneta 1 (or simply M1), these are two experimental short creations, closely related to each other, on the relationship between the body of the doll and its handler. With them, the Portuguese company Teatro de Ferro wants to stage the debate on the material and the material as origin dreaming.

Also during the week days we will be able to see several local companies presenting different stages of their creation —a platform and a help for new artists.


Joan Baixas

'Painted music', by Joan Baixas.

This year, the closing of the festival will be performed by Joan Baixas, with his show Painted music, recently presented at the Mostra d’Igualada. Following the themes of Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy compositions, this Catalan puppeteer offers a totally synesthetic show. That is a creation of a poetic work that evokes the world of impressionist artists through the transfer of feelings between painting, music, movement and light. Techniques are shadows and painting live.
By May 18th, International Museum Day, in coincidence with the last weekend of FIMFA, the Museu da Marioneta has also scheduled several events aimed at all ages to value this institution and its pieces and collections: some acts to attend are the game Enigmas no Museu, the invasion of dragons in Oficina no claustro: “Dragões refilões” and a guided visit.