Under The Strings

Comical-poetical string puppet kabaret

for audiences of all ages

Performed, designed and directed by Nadia Imperio
Voice for tenores’ choir Beppe Dettori

A bunch of characters, some of whom disguised and invisible on the stage, compete to amaze, move or entertain the audience, each one of them trying to upstage the other ones on the scene: this is “Under the Strings”, conceived as a sequence of micro-narrations, where the characters perform their solo acts linked as close artists working in the same company can be. Nearly all the sketches are non spoken, visual and played in strong harmony with music, silences and sound effects. Just the character of Nora (inventor of the first “sit-down” comedy in the world and of the web series “NOTFLIX”) sings and communicates with the audience (when abroad, especially through gesture, actions and singing, with little text).

The soloes may be comical, lyrical or spectacularly acrobatic, and aim to introduce the audience to this little world of wood and strings, where gesture, movement, rhythm and every little detail try to convey life on stage.
Some of them are classical sketches reinvented with a contemporary sensibility; the manipulation is openly shown, and it’s part of the performance.

Our cast: Lilit, the delicate rope walker; three ethereal dancing creatures, the Sardinian fairies called Janas; Oscar, young performer of flying trapeze; a pair of jumping legs and a newborn chick that comes out of its rolling egg; a naughty dancer that per- forms her ironical dance; a Sardinian folk solo singer, trying uselessly to sing the traditional chant. These are the characters on our small scale stage. Every figure is not just a marionette, a “machine”, but is someone alive and expressing him/herself in the show through his/her personality and organic movement.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS (when travelling by plane)
  • Title: Under the strings
  • First set up coming from the travel: 4 hours (most of which offstage)
  • Last pack up before leaving: 2 hours (most of which offstage)
  • Audience: best appreciated from 7 years old
  • Running time: around 50-55 minutes
  • Language: almost without words. There’s just one spoken sketch (the female character with the book), which be played in English, French, Spanish.
  • Stage dimensions: 5m wide x 5m deep x 3m (or more) high
  • Stage height from the stalls: 1m high from the ground (in spaces without any stage, audience preferably sit in a wide circle, at different levels, in order to see the marionettes properly)
  • Blackout preferably
  • Electric power 2/4kw (Voltage 220 volts)
  • Light plan:centre stage and proscenium well illuminated. One/two spots on the right and left centre stage to be used in a precise moment of the show. Light plan download
  • Sound needs: a mixer for music (I have my Ipod) and a headset microphone (photo). Possibility to control music and microphone from the stage or, in alternative, a technician that can control playlist from the outside.

The following objects are also necessary:

  • Aluminium or iron or wood structure (approx. 180 cm long) with double bar+ black cloth. One bar to hang 7 marionettes during performance, the second bar to hang black cloth to hide marionettes from view.
  • Black stool high 35-40cm (used to perform the trapeze routine)
  • A piece of black wood 40x40cm approx.
  • An iron to iron a fabric marionette
  • VERY IMPORTANT! In or out, place protected from the wind or drafts, smooth floor without slope.


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