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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 23 March, 2019
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"To put a match to such beautiful things - who knows what goes through that kind of person's mind..."

Dublin’s iconic Lambert Puppet Theatre re-opens its doors today after a recent fire destroyed much of the complex.

20150831083507 A ruined puppet in the aftermath of the fire

ANYONE WITH FOND memories of the puppet creations in RTE children’s classics Wanderly Wagon or Bosco will hold a special place in their hearts for the Lambert Puppet Theatre in Monkstown, Co Dublin.

The unique southside institution, established by puppet master Eugene Lambert in 1972, is set to re-open its doors today after having much of the establishment destroyed by fire on 28 August.

Unfortunately the theatre is the only section of the place that will be operational initially, with the museum and studios taking much of the brunt of the fire.

“Well those areas were pretty much destroyed,” theatre director Liam Lambert (son of Eugene) told TheJournal.ie, “but downstairs was mostly smoke damage and we’ve got that all cleared up.”

museum1

100 puppets were destroyed in the fire, a suspected arson attack. Although insurance will cover the cost of recreating the puppets, creating each one requires roughly 60 man hours of work making the loss an enormous one.

“We’re not sure about our antique puppet collection (the oldest of which dates from 1850),” says Liam.

They seem to be ok but we won’t know for sure until we open the cases when things settle down somewhat.

judge2 Judge the dog and Eugene Lambert in an episode of Wanderly Wagon from the 1970s Source: Youtube

The theatre will re-open at 3.30 this afternoon with a production of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk. This is just one of the five productions that were due to take place in the run-up to Christmas, but unfortunately the puppets from all the other shows have been too badly damaged.

“It will take maybe five years to remake everything that was lost in our workshops,” says Liam.

Who knows what goes through the minds of the kind of person who would do this, to put a match to such beautiful things.

Jack Stage 8 Puppets from Jack and the Giant Beanstalk, the first performance of which since the fire will take place at the theatre this afternoon

I mean everything here is children’s stuff, it’s art, primary colours everywhere, I would say someone who could do this… it’s very strange.
I try not to go there at all but whoever is responsible I would imagine is a dangerous individual.

The Lambert Puppet Theatre will re-open in Monkstown this afternoon at 3.30pm with a performance of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk. You can buy tickets here.

Read: “Dublin isn’t all about tradition and pints of Guinness and leprechauns”

Read: The world’s biggest photo competition is returning to Ireland

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