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Happy New Year of the Pig

19 February 2007 by Sam

pig, wolf and cat marionettes playing instruments

Wolohan Marionette Theatre. Accession number MLL.2005.37.29

The start of the Chinese Year of the Pig was celebrated in style across the city yesterday, and there are more cultural events planned at our venues next weekend – check out the Merseyside Maritime Museum What’s On page for more details.

Somehow I doubt that any of the celebrations looked quite like the party in this photograph of a pig marionette playing musical instruments with his wolf and cat friends!

Museum of Liverpool curator Kay Docherty tells me that the marionettes were part of the Wolohan Marionette Theatre. The family run theatre, originally operated by John and Margaret Wolohan from the 1920s, did many performances in Liverpool and the surrounding area for enraptured children and adults.
 
John Wolohan was a musician in the Philharmonic Orchestra and wrote and composed all of the music for the shows himself whilst the marionette costumes were handmade by Margaret. The family moved to the USA for a few years and continued their shows there.
 
Denis Wolohan, John and Margaret’s son and his wife Pat assisted with the shows and later took over the running of the theatre in the 1960s, continuing to entertain children up until their recent retirement.
 
Denis and Pat very kindly donated a selection of their marionettes, photographs, props and stage backdrops to the collections of the Museum of Liverpool in 2005.

Accession number for this photograph: MLL.2005.37.29

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