The Theatre de marionnettes de chez Toone is a pub estaminet during the day but as evening falls this pillar of Brussels folklore opens its famous puppet theatre.

The narrow street leading to the Toone theater

Rebellious by nature, the puppets here have ample opportunity to give their bewitching performances and weave their spell. Their presence is part of the Toone legacy; a long line of actors and performers have worked under this name and made it famous throughout the working-class quartier des Marolles. Toone VII has preserved the mocking, fun-loving spirit of the district and has instilled it into the wooden figurines which, since 1963, have been delighting audiences of adults who have never lost their childlike souls. The cheeky poechenellen perform all the great classics such as The Three Musketeers and Lucrezia Borgia with an ease that is quite astonishing.

Picture of inside Toone

The bar when you enter

The muppet show room

Close up of The Three Musketeers puppets

Nevertheless, people, do not come here for Dumas or Hugo but for the actors. They come to see Woltje, Brussels’ version of Mr Punch, play Hamlet, and Boumpa breathe life back into Charlemagne. They watch Poupa change into Pardaillan or Schuun Mokske become the most beautiful princess of our dreams. During the interval, the audience can visit a small museum. Phone in advance for information on the shows (there are performances in dialect, French, Dutch. English and German)

Puppets for sale

Door of the entrance

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Photo Blog Covering the City of Brussels, Belgium