The house of small cubes, Shadow THEATRE – Puppet and Object Theater – from 6 years old onwards

 After Kunio Katô's and Ken'ya Hirata's work


 In a town where water keeps rising, peculiar houses are built: each time a house is flooded; its inhabitant builds a new floor on top of it. There are thus, underwater, houses built on top of each other, looking like small piled up cubes. Over time, inhabitants have left the town, and today only an old man continues to resist the sea level rise. One day his tools sink into deep water so he puts his diving suit on and dives into the water to the lower floors in order to get them back. Every room sings him a song reminding him of the past, bringing back shifting memories from the depths. Therefore an immersion into the past begins for the old man, a delicate flashback, as if the film of an entire life unfolded before our eyes... a film going backwards.


Shadow THEATRE – Puppet and Object Theater – from 6 years old onwards - length 45min - calendar

With the support of



 Non verbal performance accessible to hard of hearing people and non-French speakers


Director :

Odile Bouvais


Comedians :

Régis Huet, Cécile Schletzer

Olivier Algourdin


Set designer :

Bruno Cury


Music composer :

Olivier Algourdin

Costume designer :

Michelle Amet


Lighting director :

Patrick Touzard


Animated film director :

Simon Astié


Production manager :

Samuel d'Aboville


Graphic designer :

Marc Barotte



Director's intention


Showing an old man's solitary and peaceful life,

Showing the time passing by and the choices that make each life singular,

Showing the evolution of the world.

Speaking of this water which makes some populated areas disappear,

Speaking indirectly of global warming.


That's what Kenia HIRATA achieves in his tale ‘The House of Small Cubes’.


Nothing in it is moralizing; this tale is entirely joy and delicacy.


Three comedians tell this story handling puppets, using objects and manipulated figures. I give priority to the visual aspect. I want this performance not very talkative, but, on the contrary, led by a musical and sound universe, cellos' and pianos' pianissimos and fortissimos, lapping, running and overflowing water noises.


Water distorts pictures, time changes memories. Here, the sea binds all the elements of the story. Water invades and worries, but also calms down. Time passing by, everything floats, everything moves away and takes some distance. The natural fluid element is essential in the scenic representation of this tale: it is brought up by a pictural watercoloured universe.


Odile Bouvais

 About the children's book and the short film


Best Animated Short Film Oscar (2009)

Best Animated Short Film – Annecy International Film Festival (2008)

Best Animated Short Film – Hiroshima International Film Festival (2008)

French Academy Grand Prix (2013) – Children's Book

Witches Price (2013) – Children's Book



“Alternately dashing and full of tears, Kunio Katô's watercolour soaks memories and emotions, in order to slow them down until they freeze into an amniotic wellness.”



“Watercolour, ideal for the purpose, saturates with emotions the pictures of the past. In a puzzling poetry.”

Le Monde


“This book opens widely the door to imagination with its mood and the care conveyed in all details.”

Le Figaro


“A beautiful allegory about old age and the wholeness of a life delicately illustrated by Kunio Katô.”



Le Scéno - janvier 2018