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The Little WitchAdaptation of Jože Pengov's 1967 marionette show, length 45 min

Photo by Mitja Vasič
The Little Witch is only 127 years old... which is very young for her profession. She lives alone in her witch house in the middle of the woods, with Abraxas the raven as her companion. Every year on Bonfire Night, the older witches gather on Mount Klek and dance the night away. The Little Witch is too young to attend the dance, but decides to secretly join in the fun. Godmother Ropotavza exposes her, and because Little Witch has broken the rule, she has one year to prove that she can be a "good" witch.

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.

This warm and friendly humorous stage production, infused with folkloric elements, intertwined with humorous dialogues, intergenerational discussions and fierce conflicts arising from the everyday lives of children, raises questions about kindness, its importance and meaning. Will the Little Witch be able to behave and do "good" all year round? Does she even know what "good" magic is? She decides that the best revenge is to prove the older witches wrong about her and the meaning of magic... so that she will become a little superhero witch who helps those in need. She comes to the aid of many who cannot help themselves, proving to herself and to other witches that she can be a really good witch.

The puppet premiere of Preußler's text was directed in 1967 by Jože Pengov, a key player in Slovenian puppetry (premiere 17 June 1967). The production confirmed his programmatic orientation towards contemporary fairy-tale poetics and demonstrated his great confidence in the power of the marionette, its stage presence and movement. The marionettes were created by Slovenian sculptor and puppet designer Slavko Hočevar, who was the artistic director of the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre from 1956 to 1970. His marionettes were characterised by ironic humour and technological innovations that contributed greatly to the perception of the Slovenian puppet as a work of art.

Brane Vižintin is a puppet artist, actor and animator at the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, winner of numerous international and Slovenian awards, including the Župančič Award. He is one of the greatest masters of puppet animation in Slovenia.

Jože Pengov (1916–1968), manager and artistic director of the Ljubljana City Theatre (today the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre), director, dramaturge, actor, writer, translator, publicist and educator, promoter of puppetry art at home and abroad, laid the foundations for contemporary puppet theatre in Slovenia.

Premiere 17 November 2022 on the LGL Small Stage

The premiere is sponsored by Spar Slovenija d.o.o.

Director: Brane Vižintin
Translator: Katja Ogrin
Dramaturgy and adaptation: Jera Ivanc
Puppet design: Slavko Hočevar
Scenography: Laura Krajnc by Vladimir Rijavec’s design
Puppet technology: Iztok Bobić
Music: Marijan Vodopivec
Musical adaptation and closing song: Joži Šalej
Proofreader: Maja Cerar
Lighting design: Niko Štabuc
Music production: Nino de Gleria
Music performers: Jelena Ždrale, Primož Fleishman, Aleš Rendla, Joži Šalej, Nino de Gleria
Voice on the recording: Primož Pirnat
Little Witch: Aja Kobe
Abraxas, Second child (voice): Matevž Müller
Rumpumpel Witch, Girl with flowers, Red Bill, Shepherd girl: Ana Hribar
Head Witch, Hawker (voice), Snowman, Rina (animation), Teapot: Jure Lajovic
Swamp Witch, Seller, First old woman, Lady, Second child (animation), Black Joe: Rok Kunaver
Second old woman, Hawker (animation), Lady's child, First child, Rina: Feat. Boštjan Sever
Stage Manager and Sound Designer: Emil Koprivc
Producer: Alja Cerar Mihajlović
Stage Technicians: Darko Nedeljković, Klemen Sašek, Kliment Petkukjeski
Making of replicas of puppets, set and costumes: Iztok Bobić, Sandra Birjukov, Monika Colja, Polona Černe, Zala Kalan, David Klemenčič, Olga Milić, Zlatko Djogić, Laura Krajnc, Žiga Lebar, Jože Lašič, Uroš Mehle, Zoran Srdić