Events Walthamstow

Puppet theatre bus arrives in Walthamstow

Cesare Maschi grew up in Emilia-Romagna, an Italian region famous for puppetry

A puppet show inside a converted London bus is now showing twice a day in Walthamstow.

Cesare Maschi’s Bus King Theatre will stay outside Waltham Forest Town Hall until 13th April, showing Knight Fever at 11.30am and 2pm each day.

Cesare grew up in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, which is famous for puppetry, and both wrote the show and carved his puppets himself out of wood.

It was a puppeteer from this region that first introduced Punch & Judy shows to the UK, changing the name of a standard Italian character Pulcinella to make it easier for English people to pronounce. 

Cesare told the Echo: “I have been doing puppetry for many years. My grandfather used to take me to a lot of shows and my father’s best friend was a puppeteer from a historical puppeteering family so I was always going to see their shows.

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“When I was a child, there were plenty of puppet shows but now it’s not as many. It’s a job that requires a lot of time: carving the puppets, making the scenery, making the theatre, touring. There’s still a few traditional theatres in Italy but it’s very few compared to the past.”

Before moving to England in 2009, Cesare spent some time working at the Gianduja Theatre in Turin, a historic puppet theatre that once boasted 500 seats and thousands of puppets. The theatre was converted into a cinema in the 1960s before eventually closing down entirely in the 1980s.

He started the travelling Bus King Theatre in 2010 with his ex-wife and has frequently performed in central London. Tickets for the show are £9 for adults, £7.50 for children and an additional £5 for a puppet-making workshop after the show.

Find out more and book tickets on his website here.

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