Théâtre du Petit Miroir


The Magic Child and the Dragon King

Museu do Oriente
23 May at 9.30pm
24 May at 4pm


Teatro Municipal da Guarda - Guarda

30 May at 4pm

TECHNIQUE Chinese traditional shadow puppets
TIME 55 minutes

A musical show of Chinese shadow puppets.

Despite his efforts to behave himself, Lo Zha, the Magic Child ends up making mistakes far bigger than himself. And so it comes about that the tiger gets a beating, the arrogant Dragon King and his swaggering son set up a wail, ghosts get spooked and the King of the underworld is driven mad.
Lo Zha will have to go through many trials yet before the Emperor of Jade himself will intervene to have his true merits recognised.

The Chinese shadow puppets used in this show are of finely-chiselled and coloured buffalo hide, and are mostly old.
Having survived the Cultural Revolution when most of them were burned, these pieces are in the Théâtre du Petit Miroir's own collection.
The Magic Child and the Dragon King has been shown throughout France, Europe, in Islands of the Indian Ocean and in Asia.

The Théâtre du Petit Miror was founded by Jean-Luc Penso. Inspired by the Chinese dramatic arts he presents, since 1978, puppet shows with Chinese traditional puppets, besides other creations inspired on the great subjects from the worldwide mythology and French repertoire.
This distance is supported by a rigorous technique acquired in Taiwan, during five years, with the master Li Tien Lu, one of the key personalities of the puppet world, a marvellous artist and great pedagogue that died in 1998. The master Li Tien Lu contributed strongly to the safeguard of his art, even teaching until the end of his days. He was nominated a “national lively treasure” and one of the pillars of the Taiwan’s identity.
The Théâtre du Petit Miror, inheritor of this great puppet master, continues to reveal this Chinese tradition. The company has several productions staged in France and in Asia, where it makes numerous tours, besides a cooperation with the company Yi Wan Jan de Taipei. It was the first puppet occidental company invited to perform in China after the Cultural Revolution. In 1990 Jean-Luc Penso learned the techniques of the Chinese shadows theatre with a master of Taiwan. Jean-Luc Penso, encouraged by his master Li Tien Lu to use Chinese puppet techniques in no Asiatic contexts, has since 1985 expanded his repertoire including works of European tradition. In 2007 he was rewarded by the Taiwan-France Cultural Foundation for his contribute in the cultural relations between France and Taiwan. Since 2000 that Théâtre du Petit Miror has a small place in Paris, where they present regularly shows and workshops.

“A Frenchman brings Chinese theatre to life in all its magic. Last night the Théâtre du Petit Miroir played "The Magic Child and the Dragon King". The public was amused and appreciative, and often broke into applause, proving that this traditional art re-interpreted by westerners, brings us a taste of something 'other'... Though the show is played out by shadow puppets, the characters' bodies, their hands and their feet, are alive and highly accomplished in their movements, with beautiful shapes and well-drawn characters, showcasing every side of this traditional art. The music, the lights and the scenes add to the success of the show” - Macau Daily News

“An enchanted mixed public of children and adults… at the Museum of Asian Arts (Nice) at a performance of Théâtre du Petit Miroir. Just back from a tour in China this theatre... directed by a high-level sinologist, Jean-Luc Penso, presented the Magic Child and the Dragon King... Against a white backdrop fragments of dream drifted by…” - Nice-Matin

“A very beautiful, poetic tale told with music and song.” - Télérama