Kašpárek is a Czech puppet folk-hero and the inspiration for one of my plays. I first learned of Kašpárek from a book I borrowed from Toby Olié when I was working with him on The Secret Garden in 2014. His story as part of the Czech folk tradition is incredible; not only did he allow the views of the disgruntled public to be heard; he helped to keep the Czech language itself alive when it was in danger of being replaced with German.
Puppetry as part of folk traditions is a huge interest of mine and it’s amazing just how many cultures have a puppet tradition. From the Ramayana to Punch and Judy, the religious and cultural significance of puppetry throughout history is a big part of my thought process when designing puppets (or writing Kašpárek) and I often draw on history as inspiration for my work.
He's super neat.