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The Puppetheque of the Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana revives the oldest puppet performances that have particularly captivated audiences and shaped theatrical memory. Some have been on stage for decades, others return in new guises. They follow the coming of age of new puppetry enthusiasts and represent a valuable part of Slovenia's puppetry past. The puppet shows include refreshed and restored old productions, adaptations of legendary plays and new interpretations that pay respect to the authors of the original creations.

After seeing one of the puppet shows, you can go to Ljubljana Castle and visit the Puppet Museum, where you can choose between different types of guided tours. More information can be found here.

Puppetheque Performances

​The Little Witch, Sapramouse and Speckles the Ball are currently on our programme. Follow this link to find out when they will be performed next.
The Little Witch
Otfried Preußler

The Little Witch

Adaptation of Jože Pengov's 1967 marionette show, 3+
Director: Brane Vižintin
Opening: 17 November 2022, Small Stage

The Little Witch is a puppetheque marionette show based on a story by the German fabulist Otfried Preußler and dramatised by Jože Pengov in 1967, when the work received its Slovenian premiere, subtitled "a fairy-tale play for marionettes in 13 pictures". More than 50 years after Pengov's hit, the production returns to the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre in an adapted and refreshed form, this time under the direction of the master of Slovenian puppetry Brane Vižintin.
Make Me a Coffin For Him

Make Me a Coffin For Him

Tragic Cheerful Puppet Performance from 1993, 15+
Director: Jan Zakonjšek
Coproduction with Umetniško društvo Konj
Opening: 20 November 2019, Kulturnica

Make Me a Coffin for Him from 1993 is an anthology piece of the 1990s because, as Barbara Orel wrote, it is "primitive in its iconography, infernal in its content, demonic in its energetic charge, in a word: murderous." Directed by Jan Zakonjšek and designed by Silvan Omerzu, it settled into the Slovenian puppetry space with a masterful freshness of staging. Twenty-five years later, it returns to the stage refreshed with Brane Vižintin and Boštjan Sever once again playing their iconic roles.

Speckles the Ball

Speckles the Ball

A Puppetheque Performance from 1951, 4+
Director: Jože Pengov
Director of the remake: Brane Vižintin
Opening: 27 November 2018, Small Stage

In 1936, the Czech puppeteer Jan Malík created one of the most performed puppet plays in the world. Speckles the Ball, which premiered at the Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana in 1951, is one of the puppet performances that has survived the many creative, fashionable and modernist currents in the development of puppetry and has been performed in its original form more than 1371 times and in front of 155,000 spectators. Grandpa with his barrel organ, Grandma with her drum and the mischievous little ball have delighted audiences young and old time and time again.

Svetlana Makarovič


A Puppetheque Performance from 1986, 3+
Director: Nace Simončič / Brane Vižintin
Opening: 6 October 2016, Grand Stage

Slovenian children could not even imagine growing up without the fairy tales, written by Svetlana Makarovič. Over the years there has been a myriad of puppet performances based on her literary material that have enchanted our young viewers. The clever and brave Sapramouse is considered the greatest Slovenian puppet hit ever. It’s best known staging was the one premiered back in 1986 in the Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana (and directed by Nace Simončič) that has remained uninterruptedly on the theatre’s repertoire until today. 

Little Sleepy Star
Frane Milčinski – Ježek

Little Sleepy Star

Adaptation of Jože Pengov's 1955 marionette show, 4+
Directors: Jože Pengov, Matjaž Loboda
Opening: 22 January 2009, Grand Stage

Sleepy Star is a radio play, a picture book, a film and a puppet show. In Slovenia, this is one of those stories one cannot grow up without. It is built around one of the most important archetypes: a star falls from the sky to evoke love in a man (the bandit), love, which brings sense to life. Ježek took this archetypal story, which talks about uniting a mother with an idea, and skilfully disguised it into a story of a sleepy star, a very strict Mr. Moon, and a heartless bandit. The story spans from the sky to the earth, among ice-cream men, circus artists and collectors. In 1972 the entire show was destroyed in a fire, but we took old plans, photos and the filmed material, and recreated the puppets -  long string marionettes. We made a new set, remade the show and brought everyone back to life, stars and bandits alike, on Earth and in the sky.

Doctor Faustus

Milan Klemenčič (based on 18th century motifs)

Doctor Faustus

Remake of the performance from 1938, 12+
Director: Jelena Sitar
Opening: 26 May 2016, Stage Under the Stars

Doctor Faustus is one of the oldest restored Slovenian puppet performances. The story of the scholar who pledges his soul to the devil has inspired European art for centuries. It was adapted for the miniature puppet stage by the painter and photographer Milan Klemenčič, the founder of Slovenian puppet theatre, based on the Leipzig inscription. The puppet show was staged in 1938 and represents the culmination of the artist's work. The Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana revived the performance for the first time in 1982 and refreshed it with a new cast in 2016. It is one of only two Klemenčič performances that have survived in their entirety.

The Owl Castle
Franz Pocci, Milan Klemenčič

The Owl Castle

A 1936 puppet miniature, 15+
Director: Matjaž Loboda
Opening: 12 October 1990

The Owl Castle, one of Klemenčič's two fully preserved plays, was first performed in his miniature puppet theatre in 1936. It was first performed again in 1990 and again in 2013 at LGL Kulturnica. It also served as artistic material for the production of Open the Owl (2016) directed by Renaud Herbin.