Translation of the book « Tu l’as trouvé où, ce spectacle ? »



A Guide To Theatrical Gleaning

By Agnès Limbos and Veronika Mabardi

How are childhood memories, the smell of coffee and May 1968 connected? How are politics and power brought together in a found object, something picked up in a charity shop and placed on a table in front of an audience? How do we create a world through these small objects?

Object theatre is as old as storytelling itself. In its contemporary form, object theatre is a fusion of the verbal and visual with close links to performance art. Often seen as an experimental branch of puppet theatre with exponents around the world, it is reaching new audiences in the UK with Complete Works: Tabletop Shakespeare from Forced Entertainment.

Where did you get that show? shines a light on the process of creating a new performance, the history of object theatre and the sources of the distinctive theatrical voice of Agnès Limbos of the Belgian companyGare Centrale. Richly illustrated with production photographs and drawings, the book will be of particular interest to theatre-makers and students of theatre, performance and the visual arts.


Originally published as

Tu L’as Trouvé Où Ce Spectacle?

by Editions de l’Œil, Paris (2019), 271pp. ISBN: 9782351372777


About the authors

Agnès Limbos is a key figure in the world of object theatre, at the intersection between performance and visual art. After studying political science, she spent time in the United States before training in physical theatre with Jacques Lecoq. She founded Gare Centrale theatre company in Belgium in 1984, and since then has toured a dozen shows – from Petrouchka to Baby Macbeth – to theatres and festivalsinternationally, as well as teaching and creating installations. Her work is an ever-evolving process of research into the visual and physical language of performance


Veronika Mabardi is a Belgian writer and dramaturg. A writer of plays, poems and hybrid texts, she hasworked with artists, musicians, dancers and sound artists to create performance pieces. Her works include Les cerfs (2014), for which she was awarded the Prix triennal de Littérature française de la Ville de Tournai (2016), and Loin de Linden (2014), which was awarded the Prix triennal d’Ecriture dramatique en languefrançaise de la FWB (2018).


Eleanor Margolies is the author of Props: Readings in Theatre Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and has published extensively on puppetry and object theatre. She was the founding editor of Puppet Notebook magazine and has translated a number of articles on object theatre from French as well as Manifesto for a Modern Theatre by Patrick Dubost (Knives Forks and Spoons, 2019).


Eleanor Margolies




Agnès Limbos is the doyenne of the strand of European object theatre emerging from puppetry, known for her workshops and directing work as much as her performances. This book promises to provide rare insights into the formation of object theatre as a concept in the late twentieth century, a trove of exercises that can be readily applied in the classroom and studio, and philosophical ideas about objects incontemporary society emerging from decades of experimental practice.

I look forward to studying this book closely as a scholar of world puppetry, using this book in my course onObject Theatre in the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut, and recommending it to practitioners and audiences. There are no other books available in English on object theatre (though it doesfeature in passing in many academic articles and book chapters) so this translation would be quite significant for the field!

Professor Matthew Cohen

Department of Dramatic Arts, University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA


Agnès Limbos is the creator of the Gare Centrale Company and the philosopher of the object theatre. In her book, sharing her own experience, she acts as the discoverer of the laws of the genre, for the first time she formulates the important principles of this current and demanding art form, shares the unique author’steaching methodology. Agnès Limbos’s book shows that by considering the object theater as a separate stage genre, we enrich our understanding not only of theater, but also of material culture in general. For Russian and Finnish theater professionals, the English version of Agnès Limbos’s book will be the first theoretical study on this topic.

Anna Ivanova-Brashinskaya

Theatre director, researcher and educator. Finland and Russia


Agnès Limbos has pioneered decades of innovative theater performance facilitated by her insight and understanding of the performance object’s narrative power. Her signature work blends the psychological, political and the personal with comic insight and raw relevance. Agnès has been a leader in this field, actively teaching and inspiring the generation of artists following in her footsteps.

This documentation of the decades of work at Gare Central will be an invaluable resource for English speaking practitioners. I would use this book in my puppetry courses at the School of the Art Institute ofChicago as well as recommend it to my community through the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival.

Blair Thomas

Artistic Director, Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival. Chicago, USA


We had an opportunity to welcome Agnès Limbos at Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague to give a well structured, inspiring workshop to acting students. It was without doubts one of most significant guest teacher´s contribution not only for the group of students, but also for faculty and theirpedagogical work. Agnès is master in transferring the know how, inspiring teacher and artist and meeting her only for short period was formative for several young careers. We are happy to support the English publishing of this book, as it definitely will bring not only deep insight into work of Agnès Limbos but also animportant tool for teaching contemporary object theatre.

Michal Somoš

Vice-dean, DAMU (The Academy of Performing Arts). Prague, Czech Republic


When I heard that a book was being prepared about Agnés Limbos my first thought was – how soon can I get a copy? I realised it might be some time before a translation into English would be available. Thenews that it might come soon is of immense interest for performance-makers in Australia.

In 2017 I saw several performances by Agnès at the World Puppet Festival in Charleville-Mézières, the festival of outstanding puppetry and object theatre, for which she was a special celebrated artist. An exhibition of her work over the previous thirty years was also held during the festival and I was struck by thesignificance of her role as a leading artist in the creation of Object Theatre.

In 2019 Spare Parts Puppet Theatre invited Agnès to travel to Australia to conduct a masterclass inObject Theatre. Artists from across Australia travelled to Perth to take part. It is no overstatement to say that her

masterclass deeply affected my own work and that of the many others who were in the workshop.

I teach puppetry and object theatre for the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University, one of Australia’s leading training institutions for performance. The artists emerging from this course are building a reputation for making thought-provoking and visual work. In my work as a teacher I’vefound Agnès’s artistry and concepts to be of tremendous value to these students – and a way to accelerate the development of an Australian approach to Object Theatre.

This book would fill an empty space on bookshelves of directors, performers and academics. There is simplyno other resource like it available. I very much look forward to reading it and learning from it myself and to promoting it to colleagues in the industry and students.

Michael Barlow

Associate Director, Spare Sparts Puppet Theater. Fremantle, Australia


For almost 40 years, Agnès Limbos has been one of the most innovative and most popular representatives of theatre with objects. With her unique artistic work she is a permanent guest at all famous theatre festivals all over the world. The presentations of her unique shows at every BLICKWECHSEL festival are highlights of the programme.

A book like TU L’AS TROUVÉ OÙ, CE SPECTALE? is a document of European culture, art and theatre history …meaningful and motivating.

Frank Bernhardt

Artistic Director, Puppentheater Magdeburg. Germany