Anyone who read my post about visiting the Puppet Workshop in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, knows that I’m completely enamored with puppetry of any kind. It really doesn’t matter if it is just a sock puppet (I’ve made a few of those for bemused people) – I love the artistry and suspension of belief that necessarily accompanies them.
So having missed out on being able to attend a show at the Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia (all the shows were sold out!), and again at the Yerevan State Puppet Theatre in Yerevan, Armenia (the night I was there they didn’t have a puppet show on), I was first in line at the Teatro Variedades Ernesto Albán in Quito to see Estulticia.
It was a very small and intimate production (there were only seats for about 50 people), with a single scene and Estulticia (a life-size marionette) as the only character. But it was amazing!
It portrayed a short scene from the life of an old, alcoholic lady who is shut up in a dark room filled with memories. Her only company is the radio, and a portrait of her beloved son, Ramondito. It was incredibly sad, showing the isolation of the old woman and the mental decay that such isolation encourages, but was cleverly scripted to include funny lines to lighten the mood ever so slightly.
After a few moments you completely forgot that there was a person controlling this character – such was the power of the careful lighting, and the voice-acting and skill of the puppeteer.
Unfortunately no photos allowed during the 15 minute performance, but they came to greet the audience afterwards.
Here is Estulticia with her puppeteer and the puppeteer’s mentor 🙂
Oh how I love puppets 🙂