Saturday, March 12, 2011

le Jour des Marionnettes

The children in the village have been on their midwinter vacation from school, so a variety of entertainments have been offered locally. One of them came to my back yard, well, to the square around the corner, where a small theater and chairs were set up to bring the children "the laughter and the joy of the spectacle of 'Guignol and the Pirate' ".

Guignol is a puppet created in Lyon in 1808 by a silk worker, Laurent Mourguet, during a recession in the silk making business in France which put him, and a lot of others, out of work. Mourguet created a puppet show and the character of Guignol to educate the people of Lyon about the dire situation of his fellow silk workers, to discuss social injustices and openly criticize the bourgeois families who looked down on the desperately poor workers and the local and national authorities who did nothing to help them.

The "Guignol and the Pirate" show here last week didn't have any political undertones, that I could decipher anyway, but I love that even the puppet show here has a long, politically tinged, history. And that the children still love it and participate in the show, shouting out "Il est là! Il est là!" (He's there! He's there!) when the bad guy appears.

1 comment:

  1. I love the chairs, and the chair shadows! And I can just imagine each chair with a kiddo sitting in it enjoying the puppet show. How cool.