During the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands all theaters were closed to prevent the actors from raising satirical pieces against the Spanish rulers. As a result, doll shows came into play: it was easier to tolerate the fierce dialogues when pronounced by lifeless dolls. About 1830 Antoine "Toone" Genty opened a puppet theater, then in the Marolles. More than 180 years later, this popular entertainment has grown into a Royal Puppet Theater. After Genty, his (unrelated) successors would also be called Toone (Antoine).
The classics are performed in the local Brussels dialect with wooden puppets (the so-called poechenel), sometimes in Dutch or in French. The puppet theater and museum has been located near the Grand Place for four decades. The theater is located on the upper floors of the building, on the ground floor there is a pub. The museum contains old dolls, including 19th century specimens.
Théâtre Royal de Toone
Location: Rue du Marché aux Herbes, 66, 1000 Brussels