De Poesje van de Lange Wapper

Is  a puppet theater in the old antwerpian tradition of puppets, organised by a group of enthousiastic volunteers.  

What are  "poesjenellen"?


Long John, our musician

What are "poesjenellen"



"Poesjenellen" are " rod puppets" , manipulated by the pupeteer with two rods, one through the head, one one through one of his hands.

The word "poesjenel" is derived from "pulcinella" a comic character in the italian comic theatre of the middle ages (the so called "comedia del arte). 

Later on, this character was introduced in puppets theatre in Palermo, Sicily.

Puppeteers traveling through .Europe took their puppets with, and introduced "pulcinella" in a lot of different european countries. see picture:

(click to enlarge)

Pulcinella became "Punch" in the United Kingdom, Prutzenel in Russia, etc.

Puppet theaters were very popular in Antwerp in the 19th century.

In the 20th century, the "poesjenellen" started to play for audiences of grown ups. This approach gave the puppeteers the opportunity to play a parody in situations in the city, and to tell some gossips about the people in the audience. Wether they like it or not :-)

Currently, only a few "rod puppet" theatres are active in the environment of Antwerp, Belgium. They always bring the shows in the local very colorfull antverpian dialect




Info & booking

Poesje van de Lange Wapper:

Fortstraat 28,
2640 Mortsel

tel 03/440.60.90 after 18.30 u




Our theatre is located in a cellar under the bar of 't Waagstuk on the stadswaag in Antwerpen


Click on the pictures below to enlarge  
We go in group to
the theater, following
the musician
people are sitting
on benches
Our musician singing together
with the audience.