thematique

Chesnais

Country

Accessory for string puppets. System invented by French puppeteer Jacques Chesnais (1907-1971), inspired by some old apparatus, it saves considerable time when on tour and having to pack and unpack string puppets, and also facilitates the checking of the strings before a show.

It consists of a piece of cut plywood over which one winds the strings so that they will not tangle and are easily rearranged in order when unwound. The plywood has a large central notch plus three other narrower notches on either side of the central one. First, having gathered together the strings, they are inserted from front to back in the lower notch on the left then they are wound around the central notch. Finally they are passed from front to back through the upper left notch then returned to the front through the upper right notch, to balance the suspension. In order not to stretch them it is necessary to leave enough slack in the threads attached to the puppet’s control.

This system avoids many of the problems that go with the handling of marionettes in transit.