“Bonecos & Campaniça”

Puppeteer Manuel Dias and musician António Bexiga give life to two handfuls of puppets and tell their stories. Stories without words, to the sound of the viola Campaniça.

Manuel Dias is a puppeteer, manufacturer and researcher in animated forms for over 30 years. His life blends with the puppets he creates and recreates in such a peculiar and unique way, as honest and intense. Manuel has been traveling around the world with his puppets and has several international awards for his work.

Antonio Bexiga is a musician, composer and performer from Alentejo, south of Portugal, that addresses local cultural traditions as someone who is always “longing the future”. His passion for the Viola Campaniça, traditional guitar from Alentejo region, led him to explore the instrument in several musical contexts, such as folk, rock, fusion and experimental music, and artistic enviroments – theatre, performance, contemporary dance, cinema and show-cooking concerts.

Together, Manuel Dias and Antonio Bexiga, tell stories without words of puppets that could be us – their stories are very much like our own -, they also walk the thin line between the strong and the weak, love and loss, irony and belief.

*BONECOS is portuguese for puppets but it can also mean a toy doll or a dummy. CAMPANIÇA is a portuguese guitar with 5 or 6 double steel strings, typical from the rural areas of southern Portugal (Alentejo region – BONECOS & CAMPANIÇA are from Évora, Alentejo’s capital city)

“Marioneta meu amor”

A show that joins puppetry and music, played live by pianist and composer Amílcar Vasques-Dias.

“Marioneta meu Amor” is an unparalleled concert and show whose intimacy is conveyed by the poetry of music and image. Based on the “Desnudo” CD by Amílcar Vasques-Dias, regarding hispano-arabic female poetry of the 12th century, the “Marioneta Meu Amor” show by renowned puppeteer Manuel Dias brings the characters into life, and these characters unveil themselves in music and poetry. The mastery of the puppeteer, together with the rigorous music selection, brings us the purest essence of art.

“Bonecos com história”

Stories about TRULÉ’s most important puppets.

Four of TRULÉ’s most important puppets, Bebé (Baby), Gato (Cat), Palhaço (Clown) and Vladimir have a story: the story of their existence until they became puppets.
Each of the puppets’ stories is read and then, each of them is manipulated.
The puppets are built before the audience, and by prolonging their stories with the hands of the puppeteer, they give us a sense of life, stimulating the emotions and the imaginary.

“As minhas MAIS… Marionetas”

The “As minhas MAIS… Marionetas” show is anthological and summarizes more than thirty years of work, research and knowledge of various puppet construction and manipulation techniques.
It is a show of pure visual poetry, where the puppets come to life, touched by infinite grace and by the puppeteer’s magical fingers, showing us pieces of life in stories to dream and delight.

  • Award for Best Artistic Creation – Almaty, Kazakhstan (2011)


Inocência Perpétua and Joaquim Falas Boas are sitting on a garden bench, facing a camera and waiting for the photographer to capture their portrait, which shall register the love they feel for one another. They are anxious, and Joaquim Falas Boas recites the poem “Canção da fotografia”. The photographer comes and with a hoarse voice, tells them how to pose for a good photo. Then comes the flash and a laugh, because the photographer proves to be very special indeed.

“Bonecos do Mundo”, Trulé’s puppets and world puppets, mixed techniques

The “Bonecos do Mundo” show arises when traditional puppets from all over the world meet TRULÉ’s puppets, which have also travelled throughout the world, thus also being of the world.
“Bonecos do Mundo” is a formative and informative show about puppet theatre, joining several puppet manipulation techniques with the historical path of this theatre form. With small stories and a few facts, the audience gets to know how puppets have transformed and developed through time. On this show, the puppeteer manipulates traditional puppets from the Asian continent, the cradle of this theatre form.
This show lasts for around one hour and is aimed at children and young people, being especially recommended for schools.

“Amores e Humores da Bonecada”, mixed techniques with projection of drawings

Lights out, projectors on.
At the stage, there are ten chairs for the show’s cast.
They all have in common a man in black; this man will give them existence and will also become a puppet amongst them.
The actors will fall in love, some will be ironic, others naïve or arrogant, but all of them will absorb small fragments of life.
And the audience watches them while they deal with repressed love, love that was lost and then found, requited and unrequited love; however, for all of them, humour is the spice of life.
Puppet stuff…is this it?
There’s much more to being a puppet than what meets the eye.

  • Excellent Visual Effects Award – Chengdu, People’s Republic of China (2012)
  • Golden Magnolia Arts Innovation Award – Shanghai, People’s Republic of China (2010)
  • Innovation in Manipulation Award – Prague, Czech Republic (2004)

“Variações de Marionetas em Redor da Música”, mixed techniques, still in construction with new sketches

Silence and a stage.
A man. The first music notes are heard. Music wakes up. Puppets, lots of puppets, all of them small illusions of life. Due to their strength, our curiosity and expectations grow, and for the show to happen, you only need to lend it your heart. At the end, there is no sadness. There is a kind of impending joy. At the end, we might have to wear our heart on our sleeve.

  • Festival award – Lódz, Poland (2001)
  • Best Artistic Manipulation – Prague, Czech Republic (2003)
  • Show of Excellence Award – Shanghai, People’s Republic of China (2005)
  • Award on Creativity and Rythm in the Art of the Animation Show – Bucharest, Romania (2006)
  • Quality Performance Award – Kragujevac, Serbia (2011)

“Robertos e outras Marionetas”, mixed techniques

“Robertos e outras Marionetas” is a show where traditional techniques come together with innovative manipulation techniques, thus transporting the audience into the magical world of puppets. The traditional side is represented by the string puppets, by the shadow puppets, by the bullfighting sequence and by the glove puppets, when everything takes place in the puppet booth and the puppeteer uses a reed, whose pinched sound emphasizes the hallucinating speed of the Robertos; the innovative side comes to life when bold techniques are used, e.g. when the puppeteer’s hand or arm is used to build the puppet.

  • Award for the Combination of Modern Manipulation Techniques with Traditional Glove Puppets – Prague, Czech Republic (2006)

“O Namoro” and “Tourada”, glove puppets technique

If the imaginary is made of images, who doesn’t remember glove puppets?
This traditional show is based on the quick manipulation of the puppets and there is a constant fight between puppet and puppeteer. Thus their close relationship is born. The fact that everything takes place in a single square meter might also have something to do with it.
Glove puppets, or Robertos, imitate life, but have much more freedom. That’s the reason why they say and do everything that comes to their mind. Drama and comedy alternate and intertwine at breakneck speed.
In the bullfight, the rider seals the bull’s fate by planting the first banderilla. After bravely facing several opponents, the bull will die in the bullfighter’s hands.
The “Namoro”, or relationship, is the story of a man who is looking for a girlfriend and after his first date, he is the victim of a mistake.
When looking for the girl again, he mistakes her for another man, who will have to pay for the humiliating mistake with his life.
These are the glove puppets’ stories: only too human.
As they imitate life, the Robertos can also talk. They do it with a lot of expression, using sharp sounds and strong “R” sounds. The secret is well kept in the puppeteer’s mouth. The sound is produced by a reed that amplifies the voice with surprising results. Rrrrapaz! Porrrra! Rrrrrroberto!
The Robertos use a lot of exclamation points, they like to hit people or things and to make gestures. The shows always come to an end with a beating. “Toma, toma, toma!…”
This is the time for the Robertos to rest. Until next time. After all, they don’t imitate life completely. I don’t know if you have figured it out yet, but they are immortal.

“Baile de Máscaras” and “Maria Liberdade”, glove puppets technique

The show includes two sketches and stars the presenter Roberto Palhaço (the clown), whose performance is made difficult by fantastic beings that give rise to unexpected events.
The performed sketches are “Baile de Máscaras” (masked ball) and “Maria Liberdade”.
At the masked ball, Roberto, the illusionist, turns his helper into a pig, a donkey and a devil.
In “Maria Liberdade”, Roberto faces several powers that keep Maria Liberdade in prison, a reference to the revolution that took place in Portugal on the 25th April 1974.