French poet and writer. A close friend of Jean Richepin and Raoul Ponchon, with whom he founded the poetic group, Les Vivants (The Living), Maurice Bouchor actively participated in the creation of the Petit Théâtre de la Galerie Vivienne, in Paris.
Founded in May 1888 by Henri Signoret, collaborator of La Revue des chefs-d’oeuvre (Great Works Magazine), the mission of this artistic and literary group was – through puppetry – to make known to the public those great ancient Greek, Latin and Indian dramatic texts, as well as Spanish Renaissance and 16th-century English texts, that were rarely or not at all performed by the actors of that time.
The puppets were more than a metre tall and were inspired by those of the talking crèche theatres of Aix-en-Provence. Anatole France, a great admirer of these, dedicated several of his articles to them in the Temps (Times), describing them as “Egyptian hieroglyphs”. Maurice Bouchor, with his poetic group and the actor Coquelin Cadet, at first gave them his voice. Then Bouchor wrote for them: Noël (Christmas), Tobie (Tobie), La Légende de sainte Cécile (The Legend of Saint Cecilia), and La Dévotion à saint André (The Devotion to Saint Andrew), mysteries that corresponded to the spiritual period of his work.
Although supported by many writers and critics, the Petit Théâtre de la Galerie Vivienne closed after only four seasons. It is considered one of the first theatrical venues of the Symbolist movement.
- Bouchor, Maurice. “Le Petit Théâtre des Marionnettes” [The Little Puppet Theatre].
- Revue bleue. No. 45. 26 juin 1890, p. 803.
- France, Anatole. “Les marionnettes de M. Signoret” [Mr Signoret’s Puppets]. La Vie Littéraire. 2 vols. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1899.
- Remacle, Adrien. “Petit Théâtre: Le Songe de Khéyame de Bouchor” [Little Theatre: Khéyame’s Dream by Bouchor]. Mercure de France. No. 355, avril 1892.