Moscow theatre guide: a special selection for foreigners

Moscow theatre guide: a special selection for foreigners

For many tourists, visiting Russia means a unique opportunity to watch famous Russian ballet in Bolshoi Theatre. Though, not so many of them know that Russia is much more addicted to drama theatre. The acting technique developed by Konstantin Stanislavsky, the father of Russian drama, became the foundation for many Hollywood actors. Live but not play the role every single time you are on the stage – the main dogma of this theory, which makes the performance so special and so attractive for the audience. Only in Moscow, there are over 170 different theatres staging pieces, musicals, operettas and immersion shows.

Living in Moscow means having an amazing opportunity to visit every weekend a new theatre and a new act, so big is the diversity! And if you have a couple of free evenings in Moscow, better to try this truly local’s leisure to experience more thing that Russians are passionate about!

Not so long ago, it was quite problematic for the foreigner to visit anything but ballet or opera in Russia due to the language barrier. Luckily, due to an instantly growing number of tourists, many theatre directors start to produce artworks clear to everyone. Below, there is a top list of performances, which could be visited by a non-Russian speaking audience.

1. “Wolves and Sheep” by Pyotr Fomenko Workshop Theatre

Wolves and Sheep performance

Pyotr Fomenko Workshop Theatre is the pioneer in “English-friendly” repertoire. The theatre has developed a system of subtitles that individual spectators may access on electronic tablets. This allows the foreigners enjoy the real Russian drama and comedy plays, based on literature art pieces.

One of the bestsellers, which brought a popularity to the theatre, is piece “Wolves and Sheep”, a comedy in five acts written by Alexander Ostrovsky. The action comedy takes place in a small provincial Russian city in the 1870s. Young, beautiful and wealthy widow Kupavina dreams of happiness and love. She has no idea what passions boil around her. Many haunted her wealth, vast forests, beautiful name.

The play ridicules the vices of people of imperialistic Russia, though it never gets obsolete being a golden example of Russian classic literature. A good choice for those, who are fond of academic theatre and exploring the world through the prism of laughter and satire.

Good point – all info about the theatre and the play is available in English!

http://fomenko.theatre.ru/english/performance/wolves/ – more about the piece

http://fomenko.theatre.ru/english/subtitles/ – more about the subtitles system

http://fomenko.theatre.ru/english/buy/ – buy tickets online

2. “Three Sisters” by Pyotr Fomenko Workshop Theatre

Three sisters in Fomenko theatre

“Three Sisters” is another good play from the same theatre, based on the piece written by legendary Anton Chekhov. The structure of Chekhov’s works is very different from typical ones with a plot, climax and denouement. It might sound a bit boring especially for a young generation, who are grown up on action movies. However, description of the peaceful life of ordinary people conducting charming dialogues brings new sense every single time you watch it. A good choice for those who are a true fan of Anton Chekhov!

http://fomenko.theatre.ru/english/performance/sisters/ – more about the piece

3. “Demon” by Ermolova Moscow Theatre

Performance in Moscow theatre

Ermolova theatre found another solution to attract the non-Russian speaking audience. Why not stage something without words at all? Still drama, still based on literature art piece, but given with a body language! “Demon” is one of such performances.

A plastic etude repeats the content of famous Russian poem, written by Mikhail Lermontov. Demon seduces a young and beautiful princess Tamara. All the riot of emotions and feelings is transmitted through body language. A good choice for those who are eager to watch bright emotions, passion and spectacular scenes. We suggest getting familiar with the plot before going to this play.

Unfortunately, the theatre website is just in Russian. You may use google translate or ask ExploRussia to book the tickets for you together with your tour.

http://www.ermolova.ru/video/demon.webm – Demon’s trailer

http://www.ermolova.ru/afisha/view/26/ – more about the piece (in Russian)

4. “The Government Inspector” by Ermolova Moscow Theatre

Ermolova theatre in Moscow

A never-aging piece “The Government Inspector” written by Nikolay Gogol is another option in Ermolova theatre for the foreign audience. Easy, but a smart comedy about the corrupted and bureaucratic sight of Russian governmental system will not remain you indifferent.

We suggest getting familiar with the plot before going to this play. Unfortunately, the theatre website is just in Russian. You may use google translate or ask ExploRussia to book the tickets for you together with your tour.

http://www.ermolova.ru/afisha/view/40/ – more about the piece (in Russian)

The Government Inspector’s trailer:

5. “Caligula” by Moscow Gubernsky theatre

Moscow performance

The last but not the least in our list – “Caligula”, a piece written by Albert Camus. Finally, a story happening outside of Russia, in Ancient Rome. A great choice for those who want to see a Russian interpretation of the piece about Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar. This play is also “wordless” so we believe it will leave you after the watch speechless!

Unfortunately, the theatre website is just in Russian. You may use google translate or ask ExploRussia to book the tickets for you together with your tour.

http://m-g-t.ru/performance/kaligula#prettyPhoto – buy tickets online on theatre website (in Russian)

Watch Caligula’s trailer

Local Guide Sasha with tourists

This text was written by our local guide Alexandra Sveshnikova. She really loves Russian Drama Theatre. And also she is passionate about Moscow! Tour the city with her during your travel to Moscow.

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