Swedish puppet theatre. Dockteatern Tittut (Peek-a-boo Puppet Theatre) was founded in Stockholm in 1977 by puppeteer/actor Ing-Mari Tirén and pre-school teacher Eva Persson. Tirén, who was a member of [Marionetteatern] since its founding, brought her considerable experience of quality theatre for children to the new theatre. Experiments at the Marionetteatern in separating the youngest children in the audience for special shows was her starting point for the new theatre that focused exclusively on very young children (2 to 4 years of age). Ing-Mari Tirén, assisted by Eva Persson, created a formula suitable for very young audience members that combined short texts with music and images that were based on the principles of children’s illustrated books.
Over the following decade, adapting children’s picture books for the stage formed the mainstay of Dockteatern Tittut’s repertory. The theatre attained a refined artistic quality, developed by its team of scenographers, artists, puppet makers and composers. The years following the beginning of the 1990s proved an especially innovative period. Author and stage director Christer Dahl joined the theatre as co-director, and a collaboration began with Fabrizio Montecchi of [Teatro Gioco Vita] from Italy that was to last many years. Contemporary [shadow theatre] and crossover theatrical forms combined with actor-puppeteers characterized the repertory of this period. Kattresan (The Cat Journey, 1995), based on a picture book for children by the early 20th century Swedish painter Ivar Arosenius, in which actors interacted with multicouloured shadows, was a great success.
The audience of Dockteatern Tittut continues to be the very young child. The Tittut has a permanent theatre and stage in Stockholm, and also tours frequently. The puppeteers perform in either English or French during the theatre’s many international tours. In Sweden, Dockteatern Tittut has attained a certain prestige and is sometimes called the “national theatre of the toddlers”.
In 2007, Ing-Marie Tirén resigned from the theatre. The artistic directorship of the theatre since 2012 is shared by Sven Wagelin-Challis and Sophia Segrell, both of whom are also company stage directors, puppeteers and actors.