The Little Muck


Dear children, we have prepared for you a new puppet play based on the famous fairy tale of Wilhelm Hauff. The Little Muck is a nice little boy. He lost his parents and their support very early in life. Now he seeks what he misses – love and warmth. Like every child, he thinks that if he looks like an adult, people will behave nicely towards him. That’s why The Little Muck puts a big turban on his head, puts on big slippers and a big vest believing that he will become a big man by doing so. Unfortunately, they all make fun of him and mock his height. The secret of the flying slippers and the hidden power of the magic rod give our hero a special ability. He gets a social status and a service in the imperial palace, but only Princess Amarza accepts the boy normally. Although she is a princess, she is also lonely among adults. Similar to him, she lost her mother and missed her love. Understanding Princess Amarza gives the chance to the Little Muck to open his own soul and to discover his possibilities. He helps the little princess to regain her lost joy and childish laughter. Unfortunately, the egoism and jealousy of imperial counselor do not allow a randomly arrived young man to enter the imperial environment. The Little Muck is unjustly accused and expelled. By losing everything, he realizes that great ambitions can not lead a man to happiness.

He reveals that it is the soul and character that create a man, and not his external appearance. He recognizes that everything in this world has its place and that even the smallest things have a great significance. The story wants to tell us that neither money nor any magical power can make a man happy. Only tolerance and humanity can bring warmth among people, and love is the greatest treasure in life. People, their spirit and culture are a fortune for every country. This was revealed to us by the forever young Wilhelm Hauff. Admiring his genius, we wonder: how could such a young man come to such a deep knowledge? He lived for only 25 years, but he left a huge literary heritage. That is yet another proof that there are no big and small people, and that there are no big and small nations – there are only people with big and small souls. And only those with a golden soul are truly rich. For the first time after many years, marionettes appear on the scene of the Puppet Theater Mostar. Marionette is the most expressive but also the most demanding puppet in the world of puppet theater, and it is no coincidence that it is called the “Queen of Puppets”. It is our pleasure to bring these puppets back to our viewers.

Slavčo Malenov, Director


Director: Slavčo Malenov
Written by: Wilhelm Hauff
Dramatic Adaptation: Slavčo Malenov on the basis of the idea by Vesielina Bojdeva
Language Adaptation: Nedžad Maksumić
Scenography, Puppets and Costumes: Silva Bačvarova and Vasil Rokomanov
Music: Malen Malenov
Puppet Construction: Snežana Grkova, Marijan Sejkov, Ganka Kirilova, Valja Germanova, Violeta Pašova and Vera Benkovska
Decoration Construction: Rumen Benkovski and Marijan Sejkov
Costume Construction: Mensur Kazazić
Lead Technician: Amer Ćatić


Nermina Denjo – The Little Muck
Diana Ondelj Maksumić – Miss Ahavzi, Princess Amarza, The Guard
Nedžad Maksumić – The Cat, The Tzar
Sergio Radoš – The Puppies, The Advisor, The Guard, The Donkey


The fairy tale is based on testing of virtue in the world of envy, personal interest and greed. The Little Muck was short and thus his father didn’t like him nor did he educate him or prepare for life in any way. After the death of his father, The Little Muck had to try to manage on his own. The trials he encountered had only purified his virtue. He won. Truth be told, it was not by his own strength, but by the magical powers of the big slippers and the magic rod. For his performance, Slavcho Malenov used his string puppets.
This formed the first plan of relationship with the audience; they radiated the beauty and flickering gestures on the scene. Mostarian actors revealed true mastery – by pulling the strings, they revived every part of the puppet and harmonized the mutual relations. Everything flowed smoothly, and it sometimes even reached virtuosity, such as in dance scores, especially in the final one.
Diana Ondelj Maksumić animated three characters. There are no secrets or obstacles that this artist can not master. Her string puppets were full of life and the inner zest. She, with her animations, does not seek to stimulate human movements, but looks for ways to reconcile the appearance of the puppet with its inner life. In all this, she also incorporates her speech modulations, with intonating valeurs which are transformed into a wavy flicker that finds its echo not only among young spectators, but also among those elderly viewers who wish to experience the spiritual beauty of fairy tales. Nedžad Maksumić is at the same level regarding his creative abilities. Occasionally, he allows himself a certain play with the puppet – he constructs small baroque turns in operating the marionettes.
Sergio Radoš was the busiest actor of the play. He animated four characters, and his main goal was to reach the character psychology and confront him with other characters. Nermina Denjo inspired the life of The Little Muck, dragged him through his life’s curved paths and carried him towards the temptations. The artist treasury of Puppet Theater Mostar has been enriched by this play as a valuable achievement and by the cooperation with Bulgarian puppet artists.

Vojislav Vujanović

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September 24, 2004