Jean le Peureux

Electronic text

12 pages

Jean le Peureux

| 1992 | Liège, Belgium
Jean, Chevalier noir, Lucifer, La Mort, Isabelle, Le Roi, Un Capitaine, Tchantchès
Number of acts

Jean le Peureux (Jean the Fearful) is a play written by Denis Fauconnier. It draws its inspiration from the character of Jean-Sans-Peur (John the Fearless) - the hero of multiple tales found in oral literature - and imagines how he stopped being scared. The text uses the same classical structure as the tale, but two elements link it to the tradition of Liège puppets: the character of Tchantchès, and the place where the action takes place, the Ardennes - in reference to the traditional play of the Liège repertoire, The Four Sons of Aymon. The play is still performed today at the Théâtre à Denis in Liège.

Plot summary

The hero is put to the test, gains success, marries a princess and overcomes his fears

Jean is worried. Night is coming and he has nowhere to sleep. Tchantchès goes looking for a place to stay the night and, to prevent Jean from getting scared of the dark, he leaves him a bottle of peket (juniper beandy). As soon as Tchantchès has left, Jean empties the bottle and falls asleep. He is awoken by the arrival of the Capitaine (Captain) who tells him that he is looking for a brave knight in order to save Princesse Isabella. Drunk, Jean accepts the challenge. The Capitaine tells him that he needs to perform three tasks. The first test is to prevail over the Chevalier Noir (Black Knight), the second one is to answer two questions asked by Lucifer, and the last one is to fight Death. Jean passes all the tests and frees the princess, who falls in love with her saviour. The King gives Jean a new name, Jean-Sans-Peur (Jean-The-Fearless), offers Jean his daugther’s hand in marriage, and invites him to the castle. Tchantchès comes back to tell Jean that he has found a place to stay for the night, but his master is gone. He learns what happened from the public.

Related works
John-The-Fearless (tale)
Composition date

First performance

Liège, Belgium, 1992

Conservation place

Author's archives
Literary tones
Animations techniques
Single rod marionettes
Young audiences
Denis Fauconnier


Theatrical techniques


Written by

Yanna Kor