21st JunMASTER OF PUPPETRY
PULLING AT THE STRINGS OF TRADITION
London, June 2011. bCreative member Vicky Hart recently returned from an independently funded trip to Myanmar to further investigate the lost art of Marionette Puppetry. During this trip Vicky met the Director of a Marionette Puppet Troupe, Mr Oo Htwe and created a first-of-its-kind documentary providing insight into how this ancient tradition strives to survive in modern times. The goal is to revive and evolve the art through modern technology and story telling, ensuring that the tradition continues for future generations and inspire other troupes to do the same.
In ancient times marionettes in Myanmar were more than the entertaining stringed puppets they are today. They were a medium used to tell country folk in far-flung villages the news from the Capital. In the nineteenth century these marionette shows reached their peak and were more popular than live theatre. They were allowed to safely divulge dire news to the king when a live messenger could have been beheaded. These days the marionettes tell the Jataka Tales, stories of the Buddha, and are predominantly a tourist attraction.
Modern technology and the reluctance to change the traditions of the marionette puppets have meant that local audiences no longer visit as they once did in the past. They have lost interest. Oo Htwe is the first of his kind who is willing to make the changes necessary to keep the art alive. His aim is to reignite the interest in puppetry and storytelling and to run workshops to educate and inspire imagination through storytelling.
Vicky wants her film to help Htwe live his dream by bringing this lost tradition back to life, making Myanmar, its people and ancient traditions known to the world. In turn this will help raise funds so that Htwe can move with the times, incorporating modern technology and modern themes to evolve and revive this creative craft.