A Guide to the World Festival of Puppet Theatres in Charleville-Mezieres

15 09 2021

The World Festival of Puppet Theatres, poster

The World Festival of Puppet Theatres will take place in Charleville-Mezieres, France from 17 to 26 September. See some of the performances in the festival program below: 

17-18 September 

7 sœurs de Turakie 

Turak Théâtre


1H20 - From 8 years old - French
Mounted puppets, object theater, masks
Writing, direction: Emili Hufnagel, Michel Laubu
With: Charly Frénéa, Simon Giroud, Emili Hufnagel (alternating with Caroline Cybula), Michel Laubu, Patrick Murys
Dramaturgy: Olivia Burton
Rehearsal director: Caroline Cybula
Lighting: Pascal Noël
Stage management: Charly Frénéa, Sébastien Marc, Hélène Kieffer
Music: Fred Aurier, Pierrick Bacher, Jeanne Crousaud, Frédéric Jouhannet, Cyrille Lacheray, André Minvielle
Construction of the masks, puppets, props: Michel Laubu with Charly Frénéa, Ludovic Micoud Terraud, Yves Perey, Fredérique Soria, Audrey Vermont, with the participation of the technicians of the TNP
Construction of sets: the workshops of the Maison de la Culture de Bourges
Costumes: Emili Hufnagel with Audrey Vermont
Animation films: Michel Laubu, Timothy Marozzi, Raphaël Licandro, Emili Hufnagel
About the show: Set in the imaginary land of Turakia, this improbable tale sees 7 sisters attempting to save their family home from a hurricane when they live all over the world. The show uses puppets of all sorts and sizes, recycled objects, and theatre of gesture, to make this surreal, wacky kingdom come to life.


Ici et là

la main d'œuvres


0h45 - From 3 years old - Without text
Objects, images, and sounds
Conception, scenography, sound-songs, and game: Katerini Antonakaki
Music: Ilias Sauloup
Image creation and visual scenography: Olivier Guillemain
Sound interpretation and stage management: Christine Moreau

About the show: It is an interactive installation and becomes the prologue to the playful show. The dreamlike world filled with images and sounds, and defies the laws of balance by inventing atypical stage objects, has always seduced children, who are demanding and spontaneous spectators. The artists wanted to address a tale that takes shape in a minimalist scenography where they are invited to sit on cushions, at the foot of the trees, to better immerse themselves in their sensations.

Ici et là. Photo: Elodie Boyenval


 J'entends battre son cœur



0H50 - From 10 years old - French
Theater of materials and inhabited puppets
Conception, direction: Lou Broquin
Text: Henri Bornstein
With: Sonia Belskaya, Julien Le Cuziat, Guillaume Herrmann, Christophe Ruetsch
Assistant director: Ysé Broquin
Original music: Christophe Ruetsch
Lighting design: Guillaume Herrmann
Set design: Claire Saint-Blancat and Lou Broquin
Technical design: Claude Gaillard
Animated forms, objects, costumes: Odile Brisset, Claire Saint-Blancat, Guillaume Herrmann, Lou Broquin

About the show: This show intends to take the audience on a sensory journey made of traces, memories, and retinal persistence, using poly- morphic puppets representing the different psychological states of the characters. Are you ready to experience life as perceived from inside the body of a pregnant woman?


17-19 September 

L'Ivresse des profondeurs

Sayeh Sirvani


1H00 - From 12 years old - French / Persian
Storytelling, costumes, puppets
English / Persian on Saturday 18 at 4 pm 
Direction, scenography, construction: Sayeh Sirvani
Writing: Mahmoud Ahadinia, Leyla Hekmatnia
Translation & adaptation: Sayeh Sirvani, Coraline Charnet
Assistant director and dramaturgy assistant: Coraline Charnet
Outside view: Nicole Mossoux
Sound creation: Alex Derouet
Lighting creation, technical: Antoine Lenoir
Musical composition: Parva Karkhaneh
English translation: Teresa Ondruskova

About the show: In One Thousand and One Nights Sheherazade delays each night the time of her death by telling stories. In «Drunkenness of the Deepness she repeats in order not to forget and speaks poetically about the choice of exile. The puppeteer, actor, and director Sayeh Sirvani creates a musical and visual space with Iranian influences.

L'Ivresse des profondeurs. Photo: Coraline Charnet


19-20 September  


Hamlet Manipulé(e)

Cie Emilie Valantin


1H20 - From 15 years old - French and English
Hand-held puppets, girdle
Stage direction, set design and interpretation: Jean Sclavis
Actress: Claire Harrison
Puppets: Emilie Valantin with the Cie’s workshop, assistant Lisa Marchand-Fallot
Musical composition: Rémy Deck
Lighting and stage management: Gilles Richard
About the show: What if Hamlet was really a woman? Here, the tragic hero wishing to avenge his father's death is portrayed by an actress, while the 12 other puppets are handled by the artistic director of the company...who figuratively manipulates Hamlet too, thus showing a new light on the classic story.


21-24 September


Compagnie Ytuquepintas


0H50 - From 5 years old - Without text
Puppet, sand art, music
Drawings: Borja Gonzalez
Manipulation: Alberto Munilla
Director: Borja Gonzalez
Outside view: Yanisbel Victoria Martínez, Enrique Lanz
Music: Roc Sala
Technician: Quim Aragó

About the show: Jojo is the first orang-utan to be released from captivity in the wild; he is still alive and has become the symbol of the international project Animal Rescue. This strong ecological and poetic show tells his real story, using live music, live sand drawings projected on a giant screen, and XL puppets.

Totem. Photo: Les Enfants Sauvages



Les Enfants Sauvages


0H50 - From 8 years old - French
Mounted puppets, shadows and masks


By and with: Alan Payon, Cleo Pringigallo
Costumes and puppets: Laurine Schott Sound
Light: Alexandre Santiago


Director: Jonas Coutancier and Alan Payon
With: Jonas Coutancier
Puppet maker: Amélie Madeline
Sound: Alexandre Santiago
Lighting: Nicolas Lamatière

About the show: Totem is a diptych, which opens up the artists’ bodies, rummages in their heads, to try and understand what inspiration really is. The 1st part, Sauroctone, is a hybrid form featuring puppets, movement, and animated images. This performance is conceived as a visual poem, which questions the artists’ creative strength and metamorphosis. The 2nd part, Orphée, is a duet between a puppeteer and a musician, revisiting the Myth of Orpheus.


24-26 September

Je ne pars pas

Theater Taptoe


1H15 - Adults and teens - French
Tabletop puppets
Author: Tina De Gendt
Script: Luk De Bruyker
Director: Vincent van den Elshout
Composer: Jonas De Rave
Lighting: Alain Ongenaet
Puppets: Jean Pol and Laura Pollet
Set design: Wim Van De Vyver and Luk De Bruyker
With: Luk De Bruyker (actor/manipulator), Jonas De Rave (musician), Alain Ongenaet technique
A VZW TAPTOE's erf production

About the show: Based on Jewish and proud, a book by historian Tina de Gendt, this funny yet moving show for a puppeteer and a Klezmer accordionist tells about a Jewish family of great bakers in the city of Ghent. When Nazis come to power, some escape but some remain, including the German-born owner of the shop.

Je ne pars pas. Photo: Luk Monsaert



Cie Belova-Iacobelli


1H30 - From 12 years old - French
Hand-held puppets
Sunday 26 at 4 pm: first part Le Mémorieux by Marina Simonova, graduate of the 12th class of ESNAM - 30 min
Director, dramaturge, set design and puppets: Natacha Belova
Director, dramaturge, actress: Teresita Iacobelli
Actor: Marta Pereira
Choreographer, external view: Nicole Mossoux
Assistant dramaturgy, external view: Raven Rüell Light designer: Christian Halkin
Puppet construction: Loïc Nebreda
Sound designer: Simón González
Costume designer: Jackye Fauconnier
Assistant director: Camille Burckel
Lighting director: Gauthier Poirier
Sound director: David Four
Rehearsal director: Marta Pereira
Production: Javier Chávez
Artistic production: Daniel Córdova

About the show: Based on Gogol’s short story Diary of a madman and the mental issues he suffered all his life, this show for an actress and a puppet focuses on the thin line between sanity and madness. Poprichtchine madly loves Sophie, his boss’s daughter; but he is a nobody. Unless he is really the King of Spain?

See the full festival program HERE.