The Tinder Box


We have prepared a play on the basis of a famous and magical fairy tale “The Tinder Box“ written by Hans Christian Andersen. Today, probably many of you have never seen a tinder and do not know what it is for, but I will tell you. Tinder is an interesting old-fashioned object that creates sparks. These sparks helped people in ancient times to start a fire.

The main character in our puppet show is a young soldier who is looking for his happiness. At the beginning of the story, he thinks that money is happiness. With the help of the Old Witch, our Soldier gets a lot of money, but soon he becomes aware that money does not bring happiness. With the help of a spark of an old tinder he invites the Great Dog – the guardian of the hidden treasure; the Great Dog helps the soldier find the way to the heart of a beautiful Princess. Thus, a true and pure love is born out of a tinder spark.

I hope that when you come to our show you will enjoy seeing our actors and puppets experiencing various problems and complex situations. Our performance is dedicated to the brilliant mind of the great Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, whose 105th anniversary will be celebrated in April 2010.

His great works have been translated into more than 80 languages and have been an inspiration for the creation of many paintings, films and theatrical works. Andersen’s children’s stories (more than 150 stories) were described as one of the greatest figures in world literature. “The Tinder Box“ and his other fairy tales spark and start a fire of humanity in human hearts.

Slavčo Malenov, Adaptation and Director


Director: Slavčo Malenov
Dramatic Adaptation: Slavčo Malenov
Language Adaptation: Nedžad Maksumić
Puppets and Costumes: Silva Bačvarova
Scenography: Vasil Rokomanov
Puppet Construction: Petar Čekurov, Snežana Grkova, Ganka Kirilova and Elizabet Zabunova.
Decoration: Rumen Benkovski, Valja Germanova and Petar Čekurov
Music: Vladimir Džambazov
Master of Sound and Lighting: Amer Ćatić
Stage Master: Mirsad Bijedić


Igor Vidačković – The Soldier
Diana Ondelj Maksumić – The Old Witch, The Innkeeper, Queen
Sergio Radoš – The Big Dog, The Cunning, The Slaughterer
Nedžad Maksumić – The Fatty, The King
Nermina Denjo – The Princess



In this play, the main protagonists are the old fairytale acquaintances – Princess and Soldier. The Soldier has nothing belligerent in himself, he is an “ordinary soldier” and a poor wanderer who will, through his wanderings, meet another old fairy-tale character, The Old Witch. This meeting represent the main hub of the stage action: The Witch sends him to a place where he’ll find huge amounts of gold and become rich enough to end his wanderings. But, at the same time, he must fulfill a certain condition – he must find the Witch’s kindling without which she can not practice her sorcery. The Soldier gets to the place where the treasure is located, and even finds the Witch’s kindling, but the story gets a new twist: The Soldier stops by the nearby inn, spends his treasure in vain and gets in a quarrel with the Witch which is why he doesn’t want to give her the kindling back. At the inn, he also realizes what is his ultimate mission: to find the Princess in the castle and to achieve his ultimate goal – love. An assistant in reaching this goal is the Great Dog who, with his magical power, brings the Soldier to the Princess or brings her to him. Within this episode, the story reveals another motive that dynamizes the action: King and Queen oppose the love between the Princess with an ordinary soldier. But, as usual, the opposition will be overcome and love will reach its full realization.

The articulation of the space of puppet sets by Slavčo Malenov is a strange, astonishing component worth studying in depth. This articulation of space Slavčo Malenov achieved in collaboration with the scenographer Vasil Rokomanov, whose starting point is to liberate his spatial solutions of support from the real space; it is the puppet space, derived from the inner idea of the play and the movement lines of puppets drown in the very composition of puppet space!

Until recently, there were only four puppet actors in this theater. Now, another young actor joined them – Igor Vidačković. He has a pleasant voice with a preserved child’s resonance; he does not have to adjust his speech apparatus to the child’s age and he does not have to “additionally act” because his speech releases natural warmth that enters the puppet. His interpretation never sounded dissonant in relation to other actors of the play who have already established their creative profile and became recognized for it.

Nermina Denjo was entrusted with the interpretation of the Princess. Her speech apparatus has the authentic childlike softness which she used to make her Princess dreamlike and thereby enrich the contextual layer of the play. Diana Ondelj Maksumić was seen in a triple role – she interpreted the Old Witch, the Innkeeper and the Queen. She managed to give each of her characters the personality that could be incorporated into the functional flow of the play just by providing a mild voice retouch. Sergio Radoš also had a triple engagement in the play: he interpreted the Big Dog, The Cunning and The Slaughterer. The width of the spoken phrase and the tone of the voice fully balanced their energy and thus gave their heroes the necessary conviction with mild humor cadences. Nedžad Maksumić was somewhat “modest” in his engagements – he interpreted only two characters: The Fatty and The King. He did not take them to magical spaces, but he sought for those voice and motor formulations that framed what was happening on the stage and acted as a conductor that shaped all individual creations into a harmonious whole.

The puppets were created by Silva Bačvarova, who also does scenography, painting and pedagogical work. Her puppet work was described with the words that “she paints her puppets, which are characterized by gentle beauty and excellence”. We could all recognize this in those puppets that appeared on the stage of the Puppet Theater Mostar. The music was provided by the Bulgarian composer Vladimir Djambazov.

Vojislav Vujanović

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September 18, 2009