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Cabinet of Curiosities

Two eccentric inventors open their small cabinet of curiosities and invite the public to travel through the passage of time in amazing ways. The fourteen wooden puppets that make up the piece were built by the artists of Cia Tu Mateixa and instigate curiosity for what is made ingeniously by hand.

The direction of the show is signed by Carla Candiotto, award-winning director and actress with five APCA awards, eight São Paulo Children's and Young Theater Awards (formerly Coca Cola Femsa) and a State Governor's Award for Culture. She has performed and directed shows in several European countries, in addition to China and Australia, and is co-founder and co-director of Cia Le Plat Du Jour. The authorial dramaturgy of "Gabinete de Cusiosidades" was created jointly between the director and the puppeteers, based on studies of various works of literature, cinema and the visual arts.


"Cabinet of Curiosities" was conceived and created during the period of confinement caused by the pandemic and, inevitably, brings up issues that we experience at this time when “time has stopped”. The show provides a reflection on the new dimensions and ways of feeling time in our lives today. We believe that the encounter with the playfulness of the puppets is able to stop time for a few moments and make even older people become children again.


The term cabinet, which derives from the French "cabinet", refers to the "room of wonders", a place where precious things, whether concrete or symbolic, are kept. The scenography refers to an old piece of furniture and is composed of an automaton, that is, a set of gears that move with a crank, like a wind-up clock. The setting itself becomes a puppet and a character in the show.

Each puppet has a unique ability due to its mechanisms and also its own concept for character development, relating in different ways with time. The clock puppets are inspired by the classic musical comic duos. The character Eusébio, the show´s host, was built from an old wind-up alarm clock. He is an old man who carries all the wisdom of his experience. Zezinho, on the other hand, was made from a more modern table alarm clock and represents a young apprentice, who brings the energy of children, games and play. They engage in a comic dispute over an object, poetically representing a generational debate. In a nutshell, the trapeze artist was inspired by the pendular and cyclic movement of column clocks; the ballerinas represent the precision of time, with their perfectly synchronized movements; the magician symbolizes the mystery of time that cannot be measured by the clock; the unicyclist shows the speed with which time passes when we enjoy playing and the tightrope walker reveals the crossing in search of balance on the fine line that separates life and death.


The original soundtrack composed by Brazilians musicians Danielle Siqueira, Danilo Rodrigues and Domingo Duclos (Chile) is inspired by Balkan rhythms, elements of gypsy music and songs of Jewish tradition. This mixture brings an atmosphere of gramophonic times to the show. The instrumentation was carefully selected with the idea of ​​conveying the beauty and simplicity of these 19th century folk songs. Within the repertoire we can find authorial music as well as traditional music, with the instruments guitar, acoustic guitar, clarinet, accordion, trombone, violin, dulcimer and percussion.


For the creation of the costumes, we sought, together with costume designer Elisa Rossin, a timeless and non-realistic aesthetic to compose the visuality of this pair of puppeteers-inventors who bring the puppets to life. The fabrics are made of cotton, as this natural element converses very well with the nature of the wood, which is the material basis of the scenery and the marionettes. A rustic and neutral color palette was created and the color variations are more in the details, made of lace and tulle. Leather is also used in the making of ornaments because it is also a natural material, as are cotton and wood.

This show was produced with the support of the 5th Edition of the Fomento ao Circo of the Municipal Secretary of Culture of São Paulo and Cooperativa Paulista de Teatro.

“Cabinet of Curiosities” Creative Team:

Making and manipulating puppets: Júlia Barnabé e Rocío Paredes  

Show Director: Carla Candiotto  

Creation and Dramaturgy: Carla Candiotto, Júlia Barnabé, Rocío Paredes

Original Soundtrack: Danielle Siqueira, Danilo Rodrigues e Domingo Duclos 

Scenography: Pierre Franclet, Eduardo Salzane, Valentin Fileteado, Júlia Barnabé e Rocío Paredes 

Costumes: Elisa Rossin

Costume props and scenographic elements: Laura Alves - Ateliê Clã das Cores 

Photos e Vídeos: Marina Decourt - Multiversos Audiovisual 

Management: Cia. Tu Mateixa Marionetes

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