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A blog, reflection or arguments on the marionette

argy-bargy [ahr-gee-bahr-gee]

-noun, plural -gies. Chiefly British Slang
1. a lively or disputatious discussion.
2. a verbal dispute; a wrangling argument

1595–1605; argle-bargle



Arguments for a Marionette Theatre

Do we, the people, want a marionette theatre presenting drama that

reflects the history and pulse of the society that make up an audience?


Is there an audience available and what ‘sort’ of audience do we, the

presenters of marionette drama, want?


In whose interest is it that ‘we’ should have a marionette theatre?


The answers to these questions are difficult. No doubt a professor of

marionette drama would be de able to articulate answers that would,

both give us answers but at the same time refute the answers and like

a conjuror we would be unable to see what trickery he had used.

We are saved, there is no such professor in the whole of Europe.

Surprising since the marionette has a lineage which goes back a lot

further than the actor’s theatre. There is an ivory marionette in Tarragona,

Spain that dates from ancient Egypt. The jointing on the limbs of the

figure is as we would use today.


In this, the second decade of the 21st century, there are two marionette

theatres in London, a city of some 9 million or more citizens. The first

of the two theatres, The Little Angel Theatre (Formerly The Little Angel

Marionette Theatre) has been open to the public for fifty years but no

longer supports the marionette, despite it has the staging to do so.

It has seating for 100.


The second marionette theatre is on a barge and has seating for 55 and

has been open for more than 30 years and presents marionette drama in

95% of performances. Approximately 7000 people, made up of a mixture

of adults and children from all social classes, attend a marionette

performance in this theatre per annum. 0.007% of the population make up

the ‘sort’ of audience that are happy with this form of public art. From this

statistic one would presume that ‘the people’ do not want a marionette theatre

but the marionettist believes exactly the opposite.


Is it in the interest of the marionettist that we should have marionette theatres

or in the interest of the people?


If the word ‘people’ is synonymous with ‘society’ then the question is: Is it in

the interest of the society that marionette drama should be supported over

and above the actor’s theatre? The answer: Yes


Such a positive answer requires explanation but to understand completely

one must be experienced with the marionette and its audience. In the first place

it must be clearly understood and accepted that each and every puppet or

marionette proprietor throughout the world makes and presents the shows

in a genre of it’s own.


Marionette Theatre, Shadow Theatre and Puppet Theatre are the names

given to three different tribes of people. The marionettists are the smallest tribe

and are the aristocrats whilst the Shadow proprietors are the poets;

the Puppet tribe will accept all comers and dominate the medium but are,

paradoxically, the weakest of the three despite encompassing Rod, Glove

and Object theatre.