The Little Wooden Actors at the Petit-Théâtre de la Marionnette (1888-1894)
Dr Catrina Flint de Médicis (Vanier College, Quebec)
Wednesday 22 March 4.15pm
Forman Lecture Theatre
Henri Signoret’s Petit-Théâtre de la Marionnette was home to a series of works for marionette theatre from 1888-1894. While the majority of works performed were intended as family diversions, Signoret also mounted theatre classics such as Le Gardien vigilant (Cervantès), along with works that would be considered ‘symbolist’ to varying degrees. These works were performed not by traditional marionettes with strings or hand puppets, but by the marionnette à claviers. Originally used for mystery plays in the French region of Provence, this type of puppet is capable of only a handful of pre-determined motions that are far more symbolic, even hieratic, in nature. In this seminar, Dr Flint de Médicis examines the appeal and critical reception of Signoret’s ‘little wooden actors’.