Producers of Marionette Performance

Not long ago, Naenara staff reporter Ham Kwang Hyok visited the Pyongyang Marionette Company.

Founded in August Juche 50 (1961), the company sets it as its mission to render services to educating the people, children in particular, by creating puppet plays.

Won Yong Gil, general director of the company, said that his company is staffed with directors, producers, players, marionette makers, stage decorators and other talented artistes.

The company made its debut with one-act puppet play The King Crop for Dry Fields. It has, since then, created and staged a large number of one-, two- and many-act puppet plays and a variety of short puppet plays dealing with national classic works and scientific fictions, including The Story of Cutting Away a Lump, The Hog and A Journey to the Moon.

In 1965, a puppet play Hungbu and Nolbu adapted from the national classic tale The Tale of Hungbu and a music and dance performance of puppets were staged at the Third International Festival of Puppet Plays held in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, amid thunderous applause, and Hungbu and Nolbu was awarded the Bucharest Prize.

The company is now creating a puppet play with the theme helpful to informing the audiences of the common hygienic knowledge.

The general director led the reporter to the general practice room where the creation was under way, and introduced artistes who were polishing their creative skills.

Hong Ran Hui won the prize of best individual player at a national festival by performing with credit the leading role in the many-act puppet play Balsam, and Son Kyong Nam makes puppets and controls them with 15 to 20, 33 strings to the maximum with his manual dexterity. The two of them are merited artistes. The short puppet plays they stage by controlling puppets with their fingers, strings and wires enjoy great popularity among the young audiences.

The short puppet play Janggu Dance staged at the comedy show Our House Full of Laughter, held in celebration of the 75th founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea in October 2020, gave merry laughter and delight to the audiences.

Cha Jin Mae, a veteran artiste and chief of a department of the company, said that he is making efforts to raise the qualifications of players, adding that the details of action manifested in human psychology should be discovered to be embodied in the motions of puppets, so as to dexterously control the movements of various puppets.

When reporter Ham entered the room for puppet making and stage arts, producer Ro Yong Il was engrossed in his work. What is fundamental in making puppets is to vividly portray their faces, Ro said. He creates a new formative depiction drawing various puppets of distinct individuality and stage decor scores of and even hundreds of times.

Ro and all other employees of the company were pooling their wisdom and efforts to aspire after and create new portrayals.

Graduates from Pyongyang University of Dramatic and Cinematic Arts make up the majority of the company’s employees.

Ham heard the happy and merry laughter of working people and youth and students in the theatre, before leaving the company.

Categories: Culture, Pyongyang

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