Ugolok Dedushki Durova Theatre

Nikolay Galkin/ТАSS

Moscow's oldest menagerie theatre was started in 1912 by Vladimir Durov, the great Russian animal handler, clown, writer, animal psychologist, and paterfamilias of a famous circus dynasty. At Old Man Durov's Corner they continue to practice his humane method of animal handling – no whips or sticks. "Cruelty is degrading, kindness is uplifting," Durov wrote. The little theatre fans have rewarded the "kind theatre" with their love for over a hundred years. For many Muscovites, animal shows is where circus and theatre converge. The granddads and grandmas of today's young people came here as kids to watch The Railway of Mice. They would look on, mesmerized, as the tiny train filled with fifty tiny rodent actors went round and round on real, although minuscule, railway tracks. Kids today continue to enjoy The Railway of Mice. The theatre building looks exactly the same it looked in 1894, when it had just been built by August Weber. Except the theatre is bigger now, consisting of a large space, small space and museum. The large space is for large animals and predators: elephants, hippos, lions, tigers and seals. The small stage is for furry actors with tails, and feathered things.