Review of “Grandpa’s mitten”, a performance of the State Puppet Theatre – Vidin

Grandpa’s mitten
The importance of being tolerant!
Desislava Vasileva

Production team
Dramatization and direction: Maya Dimitrova and Mitko Dimitrov
Scenography: Miglena Metodieva and Georgi Slavkov
Music by Petko Manchev
Margarita Kostova participates

Fairy tales are an important part of every child’s daily life. They teach him how to make the difference between good and evil, what friendship is, how and why it is important to help others. Speaking of fairy tales, “Grandpa’s Mitten” is one of the most well-known to Bulgarian children.

I can describe the presentation of Puppet Theatre Vidin as magical. The whole atmosphere is colorful – from the music of Petko Manchev, through the costumes and puppets of Miglena Metodieva and Georgi Slavkov, all the way to the talkative Margarita (Margarita Kostova), who introduces us to the interesting story of her grandfather.

Maya and Dimitar Dimitrovi are well-known faces in the Bulgarian puppet theater. We owe them the performances “Snow White”, “The Elephant with Pink Ears”, which are part of their “MM” Theater and are guests at numerous festivals at home and abroad. In “Grandpa’s Mitten”, the Dimitrovi family does not betray their mission – to present to children, in an interesting and understandable way, how important friendship is and helping anyone in trouble. Margarita draws us into the story of the mouse, the rabbit, the fox, the wolf and the bear living together. The girl captivates children and adults with her songs and funny stories. Through this interesting approach, the lesson of the story reaches every single child in the hall.

One of the main themes here is tolerance. Every child would be amazed how the cowardly mouse Grizzana befriends the scary wolf, and even lives with him. The masterpiece does not come from the interesting coexistence of these animals, which in most fairy tales are known to us as “enemies”, but from the idea of Maya and Dimitar Dimitrovi to place the theme of tolerance in another place that is missing in the fairy tale. We all know that in the end the grandfather finds his glove, chases the insolent “tenants” out of it and goes home cheerfully to his grandmother. Here, however, Margarita’s grandfather decides to leave the mitten to the animals and even leaves the second, showing the children that we should always help as much as we can to anyone in trouble.

The show fascinates us with its interesting dolls, which, although different, enchant us with their childlike naivety. Every time a tree sprouts from the large backpack, the kids gasp in delight. As soon as one of the puppets pops out, which are modernized as images (the Fox is an actress and the Wolf is an athlete), the children giggle and sing the songs that come as the refrain of the performance. I can say for sure that Margarita’s message gets through to the audience, and from there it’s all about hope. For children to be good, to help not only friends, but also animals. To remember that although different, we should all be good and love each other as we are.

“Grandpa’s Mitten” is not just a show for kids, it’s for all ages. Everyone can take something from the story and apply it to their lives. After all, isn’t it the theater that is supposed to make us better?!

Translation is funded by National Culture Fund.