Swashbuckling Puppets

2 Jun

Piccolo Teatro Dei Pupi

Have you ever seen a puppet theater? We hadn’t. We arrived for the Sunday afternoon performance to find that it was sold out. But they squeezed us in by setting a board across the aisle balanced on the two side seats. You had to climb over the seat to sit down. They did this in every row. How do you say fire marshall in Sicilian?

And this was a Sicilian Puppet Theater, not Italian. There is a long tradition of puppetry in Sicily where families carve the heads and build the bodies of the puppet as well as designing the costumes and scenery. This theater had a family of brothers and one wife and all looked to be in their twenties. They run a puppet Museum down the alley from the theater where you can watch them creating  their art.

The stories enacted are swashbuckling tales going back to the time of Charlemagne. Each performance is an espisode in the tale, like a medieval soap opera.  We saw “The Flight of Angelica.” There are heros in shining armor, maidens in distress, swarthy villians and the occasional mobs of assasins.  These slaughters are the best part of the show with a drum beating, swords clashing and heads and body parts flying and filling the stage.

Everyone broke into applause during the performance and wildly at the end. It was all great fun.

One Response to “Swashbuckling Puppets”

  1. Maryl June 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    What fun! Even with no understanding of Italian, there is plenty of action. The
    Boys would love it.

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