Small theatre from the end of the world

An unusual show combines puppet theatre with a computer game, creating an interactive experience

The contemporary Bulgarian-French puppet show The Small Theatre from the End of the World… Opus II is an unorthodox view of the world as presented by renowned director and actor Ezequiel Garcia-Romeu.

The production involves striking puppets and the puppeteers blending in with the audience, as the traditional separation between stage and hall is dispensed with. The entire space is a makeshift stage gradually coming to life in an emotional and touching story about humanity. The show has a dream-like feel and takes the audience to the core of the Earth, to deep deposits of oil and disquiet over the direction in which our planet is headed. The viewers become a part of a different world, full of metaphors and discovery.

At the heart of the project is the idea that puppet theatre is not only for children, that adults are a natural target group as well. The show is an innovative piece of European puppet theatre, funded under the Creative Europe programme. The production is realised by the theatre company Theatre de la Massue from Nice, France; Centre Dramatique National Nice Cote d'Azur; the NGO Un'idea della cultura from Rome, Italy; and the State Puppet Theatre in Vidin, Bulgaria. A French computer company has developed software for an internet game especially for the project - the idea is that as they play the game on their devices, the younger viewers will be engaged in the show too. The reaction of those playing the game is designed to affect the show. A team from the CDN Nice Cote d'Azur will conduct research into the interconnection between the live audience, the gamers and the show.

In addition to the life performance, the organisers are preparing a virtual museum of puppets. Some 100 profiles of puppets from various systems and countries will allow visitors to examine the technology used to produce those items as well as to operate every single part of a chosen puppet in a 3D format.

The goal of the project participants is to study European audiences. During each of the seminars scheduled to be held at the conclusion of the project, 20 people will be trained to work via the 3D system and thus recruited to the vast world of puppet theatre.

The show has already been performed to great success in Plovdiv and Sofia.

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