Ucheny Medved Theatre

Active in Moscow since 2002, this small puppet and shadow theatre offers a repertoire based on folklore from different countries. Without its own premises, the troupe gives performances at various Moscow venues including the Domik Fanni Bell Theatre and the Pokrovka Cultural Centre. The Ucheny Medved (Learned Bear) also often gives performances by invitation. Its plays are geared to small venues that hold 50 to 60 people. All plays are accompanied by live music: audiences can hear a range of traditional instruments such as the string gusli, the zhaleika hornpipe and the hurdy-gurdy. The productions vary greatly in format. "Well Well" ("Nu i Nu") is an African story for open stages and street festivals. "Around the World in 10 Minutes" ("Puteshestviye Vokrug Sveta Za 10 Minut") is a shadow play home master-class, after which the children stage their own play. The repertoire also includes more traditions productions. Among these are the "Tale of Egor the Brave" ("Skaz o Egorii Khrabrom"), a puppet play based on Russian legends and spiritual verse on Saint George the Victorious, and "The Magic Mirror" ("Volshebnoye Zerkalo"), a magical shadow play about a princess and a travelling youth. The theatre's most popular seasonal performances are "Christmas" ("Rozhdestvo"), a shadow production based on folk nativity plays, and "Butter Week" ("Maslenitsa"), a puppet play drawing on Lubok images and folk texts. Tickets can be purchased in advance only for plays running at fixed indoor venues: information on these is always available on the theatre's website.