Stuffed Puppet Theatre - Neville Tranter (Netherlands)


7 and 8 June at 9.30pm (Friday and Saturday)

Idea, text, direction, puppets and puppeteer: Neville Tranter Direction assistance: Tim Velraeds Co-appearing: Wim Sitvast Photographs: Wim Sitvaast Technique: Full-view manipulation For audiences over: +14 Running time: 60 min. Language: English


The puppet master Neville Tranter is one of the world’s best-known puppeteers. His works always manage to be poetic, irreverent, virtuous and radical at the same time. Combined with black humour and finely drawn characters, they also balance dramatic force with enchanting subtlety.

Mathilde”, scenes from an old people's home in a triptych.

Mathilde is a very old lady. Life is getting hard to bear.
She remembers vividly what happened in her life 60 years ago, but now she keeps forgetting where she has put things.
She keeps blaming the nurses of stealing from her.
But not only Mathilde is suffering. Lucie, the new patient, arrives at the home. She has lived all of her life with her brother. She does not fully understand her situation, but her brother does understand very well that things are nearing their end.
The managing director of the home has other worries. How can he maximize the home's profits?
A funeral director is willing to offer him some advice.
“Mathilde” is a tragic comedy about the hardship of getting very old.

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Neville Tranter (1955, Toowoomba, Australia) completed his drama studies with the US director Robert Gist in Queensland in 1976, having also trained with the Billbar Puppet Theatre. He founded the Stuffed Puppet Theatre that same year. After the Stuffed Puppet Theatre had taken part in the Festival of Fools in Amsterdam, in 1978, Neville Tranter moved to the Netherlands, where his visual and emotional adult puppet theatre developed to assume its present form. In his own brutal, ruthless, but poetic way, he confronts the audience with their fears and dreams, urges and desires, personified by what are often life size talking puppets. Combining a minimal decor with sophisticated music, lighting and sound, using the oldest devices of the theatre as well as state of the art technology, solo on stage, with nothing but his puppets plus a number of assistants behind the scenes, Neville Tranter is capable of evoking images that the audience will not forget for a long time. His combination of down to earth humour, deadly seriousness and virtuoso puppetry has already made permanent converts of many who had presumed puppetry had nothing to offer them.

Within his group Stuffed Puppet Neville Tranter developed his typical style of visual theatre with human size puppets.

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