Definition of shadow play in English:

shadow play


  • A display in which the shadows of flat jointed puppets are cast on a screen that is viewed by the audience from the other side. Such shows originated in East Asia, and were popular in London and Paris in the 18th and 19th centuries; they survive in traditional form in Java and Bali.

    • ‘The play incorporates a variety of theatrical and multimedia elements, including dance, video and shadow theatre.’
    • ‘Between them is a reconstruction of the shadow theatre that was to be so popular before the advent of cinema, complete with zinc silhouettes used in these labour-intensive productions.’
    • ‘Not only did I risk burning down the tent; I forgot that our frolicking could be projected onto the wall like Balinese shadow theater.’
    • ‘He says in India the hand shadow theatre is not popular because it is very difficult.’
    • ‘The film was a success and prompted him to another hit release, ‘Prince and Princesses’ in which he used older shots in a shadow theatre.’


shadow play

/ˈSHadō plā/