Guignol

 

Mourguet.

Laurie Castelbou's painting.

Laurent Mourguet and Guignol
International museum of the marionette.

 

The puppet « Guignol » was created by Laurent Mourguet in 1808 and is now the most recognized well known puppet in France (like « Punch » in England).

Laurent Mourguet (1769-1844), was a silk worker in Lyon before the Revolution. After the war, he decided to change his profession and became a dentist or rather « arracheur de dents » (« puller of teeth »), setting up a stall in the market.

In order to attract patients to his stall, he created a simple « castelet » (puppet theatre) and performed scenes using his own hand made « glove » puppets.

He was the first person to pioneer this technique. Up until then, puppets had only been manipulated by strings.

The first characters to appear were Polichinelle and the Devil. At the beginning of the XIXth century he introduced « Gnafron » followed by « Guignol » in 1808.

In 1820, Laurent Mourguet created a traveling puppet troop which toured the Rhône, Loire and Isère.

By 1830, they had perfected their technique and the show became a triumph. They eventually settled down in Lyon and opened their own Theatre : « Le Caveau des Célestins ».

Laurent Mourguet moved to Vienne (France) and lived there until his death in 1844.

 

 

 

Links

 

The theater

 

Site du Guignol de Lyon.
Théâtre Guignol de Lyon
« Compagnie M.A. »

Site de Guignol, un Gone de Lyon.
Compagnie Daniel Streble
« Guignol un gone de Lyon »

Site de la Maison de Guignol.
Théâtre
« la Maison de Guignol »

Site du Véritable Guignol du Vieux Lyon et du Parc.
Véritable Guignol
du Vieux Lyon et du Parc


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