Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust recently participated in the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes (from 17th to 26th September 2021) in Charleville-Mézières, France. Their show ‘The Nights’, co-produced by the festival, was performed at the Mozart Salle four times over the weekend of 25th & 26th September 2021.

On 1st October 2021, the company performed at the community centre in Quarrieu, near Amiens, which was followed by a workshop on puppet theatre on 2nd & 3rd October at the Circus School at Amiens for a mixed group of students from the Circus School, the Conservatory Theater in Amiens and Puppetry School in Charleville.


In January 2020, with the support of the French Institute in India, Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust invited Ms Sylvie Ballion, artistic director of the Le Tas De Sable – Ches Panses Vertes, Amiens, for a mentorship program. This mentorship is aimed at creating training where puppeteers and writers can meet. She mentored five puppet theatre companies and five writers to write original scripts for puppet theatre and perform them. It was the origin of the company’s show ‘The Nights’. The show was then co-produced by the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes.

Synopsis of the play ‘The Nights’

Stories about a petty thief driven by luck and love, a slave girl torn between her master and his mortal enemy, and a misanthrope drawn into strange duplicity, must all be brought to vivid life by a princess trying to save her own.
The Nights revisit and reimagines tales that have been told across centuries to listeners in various contexts: as exotic entertainments sold at marketplaces, as fables told to children, and as chronicles of the continuing dream and desire for power. At its heart, it pulls us into the inner chamber of Scheherazade, our storyteller, who must ensorcel her captor, the Sultan Shahryar, into sparing her life across the stretch of a thousand and one nights until he can transform from a murderer into her muse.

About Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes (World Puppetry Festival)

The Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes came into existence in 1961 by the troupe Les Petits Comédiens de Chiffons. The festival includes:
• The world’s largest gathering of puppeteers every other year in Charleville-Mézières
• The support of artistic creation through the co-production of shows, the hosting of artists in residence, as well as the promotion and distribution of shows
• Continuous work all year round in order to promote puppetry and develop audiences in schools, in organizations and within the general public
• The organization of “Puppetry Weekend D-365” one year before the festival

For this year’s edition, a total of 104 shows from 16 different countries, for more than 420 performances, came together in the heart of Charleville-Mézières and the Ardennes. Despite the pandemic, 45,000 tickets were sold.

About Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust

The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust is a Delhi based puppet theatre company that began in 1998. Since then creating a rigorous training system for puppeteers has been a key focus for the group. In absence of a puppet school or courses to train professional puppeteers in India, Katkatha conducts intensive short courses and workshops in puppet techniques, supports interns who learn by following the work of the company. The focus is to train the next generation of professional puppeteers, create a discourse around puppetry and also build a network of puppeteers. Over the years Katkatha has grown organically to expand the possibilities of using puppetry by looking at applied puppetry and exploring multiple collaborative projects both in India and abroad. Katkatha has been constantly involved in community and peacebuilding projects, school projects, training programs and international projects.