Home Humans of Hackney Monica Lucia Madas | Singer & puppeteer

Monica Lucia Madas | Singer & puppeteer


Hackney Magazine records the stories of strangers across Hackney. Here is the latest story from Humans of Hackney.

I was born in Romania in the beautiful land of Transylvania. I studied puppeteering and animation at the Academy of Theatre and Film in Bucharest. I started to work as a puppeteer before I graduated university back in Bucharest at Tandarica Puppet Theatre, the most prestigious puppet theatre in Romania. But every big city in my country has a puppet theatre: we have quite a tradition in puppeteering.

I moved to London 10 years ago as I felt I couldn’t adapt to the lifestyle Romania offered me as an artist. We spent more than 50 years under the communist regime and even if we got through a revolution in ’89, things didn’t change much: still corruption and people struggling to function in adismembered society where real values weren’t recognised. Imagine being an artist in this environment. But being an artist in general is quite a struggle, so…

I am teaching traditional Romanian music and dances to children from different cultural backgrounds. I am also collaborating with three great British musicians who play wonderful Romanian music. Meg Hamilton on violin, Matt Bacon on guitar and Paul Moylan on double bass. Really amazing musicians, so happy we still play together when time permits. We made together Monooka’s Caravan band (visit monooka.com for more information).

I had a four-year project called The Seasons where I worked with the musicians from Monookas Caravan along with others. The project was supported by Harrow Music Service and the Jewish

Music Institute. We were teaching thousands of children in primary schools and preparing them to perform in shows specially designed for them. I also worked with children in making puppets. For the moment I am training as and art therapist and I don’t have much time for running around and do creative work. Just working a bit part time in order to make money and pay school, rent… life… Not easy…

The most challenging part of being singer and puppeteer is to survive…