Tales of the Puppet Designer

Tales of the Puppet Designer

Tales of the Puppet Designer
Written by Vera Bródy
Edited by Olga Somorjai
NSZL–Móra, Budapest, 2016., 240 pages
ISBN 978 963 200 659 8

4 999,- Ft

This volume presents the complete works, nearly 400 puppet and scenery designs, of the Munkácsy Mihály- and Jászai Mari award-winning puppeteer and designer, Vera Bródy. The book is a result of the cooperation between Móra Publishers and National Széchényi Library, whose Theater History Collection is the keeper of the artist’s unique works.

Vera Bródy’s career coincides with the history of the Hungarian State Puppet Theater (later Budapest Puppet Theater) from 1952 to the end of the 20th century. This exciting period is now presented by the personal vision of the artist who tells with her natural words the story of the puppet theater, the stages of her work as a designer, and her relocation to France, where apart from designing, she worked also as a teacher, a director and a book editor. Her memoir is a special documentary of the era, as she was a witness of the theater’s life, with all its success and failure. Her strong bond to the Hungarian culture, as well as her attraction to France, are both revealed in the stories.

The book follows the chronology of Bródy’s career presenting the most important plays in puppet history and the artist’s favorite designs that have a special place in her memoir. Vera Bródy’s designs are not only lovely and beautiful, but also bring a touch of humor and irony. The reader can follow Bródy’s career from her first individual design work, Misi Mókus kalandjai (The Adventures of Squirrel Misi), to a number of significant presentations, like the world success A fából faragott királyfi (The Wooden Prince) and the highlight of her career, Tűzmadár (Fire Bird). The book presents sketches and design variants never shown before, and gives a glimpse into the artist’s designs for television and works in France.

There are contributions of Bródy’s contemporaries in the present volume: a preface by Péter Molnár Gál, words of memory by István Láng, and the speech of Dezső Szilágyi at the retrospective Bródy exhibition in the Puppet Theater in 1996.