Puppetry and the Spanish Civil War

  • Cariad Astles
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


Puppets have frequently been appropriated by all sides of the political spectrum to enact nationalist concerns about identity and to provoke a sense of community. In the wake of the nineteenth-century rise in popularity of the puppet as newsreader, political commentator and satirist, puppets were seen as players within the artistic articulation of national and local identity. In Spain, and in particular in Catalonia, during the early years of the twentieth century, the popular glove puppet was further seen as the site for modernist experimentation and expression. Immortalised by Garcia Lorca in ‘The Puppet Play of Don Cristobal’, the glove puppet was seen as mouthpiece of popular feeling. This feature of the puppet was energetically harnessed during the Second Republic in Spain and during the Spanish Civil War attempts were made to harness this popularity and to use the puppet for entertainment of troops, support the political struggle and to offer moral instruction.


Puppetry Lorca Spanish Civil War glove puppet National identity Modernist experiment 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ExeterExeterUK

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