The Moon and Sixpence Puppet Theatre is a marionette (string puppet) theatre. This kind of puppetry is more complex than glove or rod puppets and, because the puppeteers operate behind and above the marionettes, it requires a much bigger fit-up (staging).
To mark Armistice Day, here is an image of front line troops of “the Great War” enjoying the French version of Punch & Judy with Guignol as Punch, not only entertaining troops, but satirically, as a stand-in for political leaders of the time.
The image is from the archives of the Museum of Puppetry in Lyon (Musée Gadagne / Musée des arts de la marionette).
The stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse later provided a wonderful opportunity to use puppets to recreate a moving story from World War I. The story behind that stage production can be found in this Guardian article here:
“Both children and teachers were thoroughly enchanted by your magical performance. The characters were hilarious and the intricacy of the movement of the marionettes really captivated the audience. We are already thinking about when we can book you next.”
– a wonderful response from St Oliver Plunkett National School, following our recent visit.