Sitting room puppetry

The miniature object has always fascinated the imagination. Puppets and puppet theatres to be played with at home have been responsible for the creation of myriad worlds of theatrical fantasy.

Throughout Europe, the tradition of home-made theatrical arts, performed either in private homes or in small theatres – also known as chamber or pocket theatres – has been a constant in the history of theatre. In Barcelona homes during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was common to convert the ‘alcove’ (the sleeping area of a room with bedroom and small sitting room) into a stage. Catalan theatre, as the historian Xavier Fàbregas explains, was born partly thanks to these private performance spaces.

Today, very small, intimate theatres for object, shadow or puppet theatre are an ever increasing speciality. Spaces such as the Malic Theatre or La Puntual have been and are references of such little worlds. Furthermore, set designers and directors of large productions use models to explain and analyse their proposals for space and lighting.