Victor Plotnikov


Puppet Theatre “Gulliver”, Kurgan
Director: Victor Plotnikov, Vladimir Filonov

A multigenre adult puppet show

This show first emerged on the periphery of Russian theatre and for this reason was greeted by even more enthusiasm by blasé Moscow. The show by the Kurgan Puppet Theatre was produced by Viktor Plotnikov, who designed Slava Polunin’s renowned Snow Show. Plotnikov is very inventive in how he contrasts life and puppet scales. In his puppet show the cozy village cottages turn out to be studs on the giant’s coat, the people are either clowns sailing down the river of death in a frail boat or fragile puppets in the hands of the experienced and unemotional puppeteer. The show title means “joke” in translation, although its sense is not in the least trivial. Through a series of touching, old-fashioned, innovative, funny and sad scenes he depicts the fragility of life, the insignificance of humans on a global scale, and the effort by people to rise above their own nature.

Elena Kovalskaya

The curious name refers to the virtuoso musical production containing freakish changes in the scenes and mood, a genuine cup of cappuccino that could by an imaginative person also be associated with Francisco Goya’s Caprichos. Actually it is a classical case of an artistic theatre, the quintessential imaginative world of Viktor Plotnikov with images, characters, moods and plots roaming from one scene to another. A snowy Russian village awakens after a night’s sleep and classical Venice complete with gondolas and serenades, a hunchbacked Rigoletto and a hero from an ancient Japanese legend, the people are like puppets and the puppets like people, a bear and an angel, a pair of parrots and a succession of commedia dell’arte characters, moonlit Pierrot and a gipsy horde. There is so much fantasy in each moment of theatrical time and every square inch of this theatre, that you are sometimes left breathless from the abundance of feelings that you wish you could take a break to think it over, give it meaning, feel and remember it.

"The Chelyabinsk Rabochy" Newspaper (Chelyabinsk Worker)

Plotnikov unites people and things in his puppet space. Partnering art and acting, he seeks new shades in music, lighting and image scenes. His performances are fairy tales for adults, frightening, sad and ironic.

Capriccio has no penetrating plot. It is created through floating pictures on sketches. The images are simple and complicated, funny and weird and are perfectly constructed and well-thought out in the technical sense.
There is a certain procession of the directors’ inventiveness, a madcap, well shaken cocktail, where everyone can locate their closest themes. Plotnikov give no explanation preferring just to demonstrate it.
"Chastny Correspondent" Newspaper