I was born before War, before Second (World)
War, not the Napoleonic War, okay? In Czech, in Czechoslovakia it was a tradition when
child is about three years old, they give a puppet theatre. Little puppet theatre, little
stage with puppets. I started to play the shows and I was hooked on it and from this
time I was always playing with puppets and making in the theatre and everything. All
through my school years, I always wanted to be actor, wanted to be puppeteer, to always
do something fun. Later on, when I was working in the mines I was in two minds, you play
miners or you play puppet theatre. When I was 18 years old, I was lucky enough
to go to University of Prague to learn puppeteering. I was specialist in puppet movement, technology,
construction of puppets and then I met my wife.
My wife was dramaturgist… it means writer, painter and everything and we went through
a couple of theatres in Czech Republic and later on in Australia… we started in Unley
a puppet museum. You see all the puppets in my home, everywhere. I’ve got about here,
about 1500 puppets, roughly. And I am still doing some bits and ends…
no, not very much. If you use a broad Aussie language, puppets will ‘suck you in’… and
when you’re in, you can’t get out.