When we were in Paris for Easter last year, I managed to take Sophia, and Alexandra too, for their first puppet show, on the Champ de Mars. Guignol, the main puppet in most of these productions, is a classic French childhood figure. I had wanted to take Sophia when we lived in Paris, but she was always very scared of the puppets, and so I was thrilled when she thought it would be a good idea, and even more excited when she loved it. She talked about nothing else for days. Weeks later when my parents came to visit, and we went back to France, Sophia’s dreams of a puppet show were increased when she was given her own puppet Theater! Over the past 6 months, we have added to her puppet collection, but she still talks about Guignol.
So you can imagine how excited we were on our drives this week when we saw that a traveling production of Guignol was going to be in one of the small villages near us this afternoon. Sophia was so excited when we told her we were going she could hardly keep herself still. Alexandra had a hard time with all of the hitting, so I took her out after 10 min, but Sophia LOVED it again. And Troy was able to share it with her this time.
The stories are always quite simple, and usually encourage LOTS of yelling from the kids in the audience (Sophia managed to remember enough French to participate). She caught enough of the story to realize that eventually good things just happen to Guignol, even though – as she so brilliantly stated - “Guignol doesn’t have a really good thinker, he’s not the best thinker in the Castle!”
If you are ever in France with children & come across a Theatre Guignol, I would highly recommend it! (Here is the schedule for Paris in english!)