Spanish puppeteer also known as “Didó”. This Catalan puppeteer, one of the most popular of the 20th century, introduced the Lyon-style guignol glove puppet to Catalonia. He significantly influenced other companies participating in the so-called puppet theatre “renovación de los 70” (renaissance of the 1970s), including Putxinel·lis Claca (see Joan Baixas, Putxinel·li) and Titelles Baby.

After a particularly difficult childhood and adolescence, Vigués worked as a window dresser in Barcelona, an occupation he continued in Paris between 1907 and 1914, with a brief interruption in London in 1910. After returning to Barcelona at the beginning of World War I, he reappeared in Paris in 1918 as a theatrical agent to launch his client, the dancer Teresa Boronat, at the Folies-Bergère. He subsequently ran a dance studio and the Sevilla cabaret. At the age of fifty, he learned the technique of guignol from the Thiessard couple. Several years later he founded his own theatre, Au Petit Moulin, to present his own shows, including La Vie fantastique de Guignol (The Fantastic Life of Guignol).

In 1931, he finally returned to Barcelona where his puppet performances appealed to children, intellectuals, and artists alike. In 1934, he met Teresa Riera, “Teresina”, who became his partner in work and in life, and at the end of the Spanish Civil War (1939) both went on tour across Catalonia. In the late 1940s, they had a portable theatre of 11 by 5 metres in which they performed a repertoire inspired by popular tales and sketches, comedies of manners, and literary works by Molière, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others.

Among this theatre’s most popular characters are Tit, the Catalan version of Guignol, Tot, El Pispa (the Thief), Isidro, and El Dimoni (the Devil, a typical character in Catalonian puppet plays). As his alter ego, Didó used the character of Polixinel·la as the presenter. Didó never used the lengüeta (swazzle) but gave his characters a register of varied timbres.

Upon Didó’s death, “Teresina” continued with the small travelling theatre for some time before donating the puppets, scripts, manuscripts and memoires to the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona. Teresa Riera died in Barcelona on February 22, 1975.

(See Spain.)