If you’ve ever been to Taiwan, you may have been somewhat baffled, and definitely creeped out, by Taiwanese-dialect speaking, ancient Chinese costume puppets 布袋戲 (bùdài xì) that feature on TV. If not, you’re in for a treat! My mum’s fgeneration used to run home from school to catch fuzzily broadcasted serialisations, but nowadays they’ve become fairly hi-tech.
If you’re a Chinese-speaker, or even luckier, speak Taiwanese/Minan Hua/Fujian Dialect you might enjoy this documentary based on a 布袋戲 (bùdài xì) Festival in Taiwan.
Although these puppet shows were originally part of festivals and shows enacting theatre based on history and ancient tales, these TV serialisations were a boom for the industry in the early 1970s. As part of the Culture Weekend, the group heads down to the Lin Liu Puppet Theatre Museum in Taipei, a cosy, renovated traditional puppet workshop with sharp, winding stairs up several floors of exhibits. With puppets to play with, shows to watch and a passable English tour to the museum itself, this tiny museum is definitely worth seeking out if you’ve a morning to spend!
No. 79, Xiníng North Rd, Datong District,
Taipei City, Taiwan 103