Alexei Shishov, Boris Konstantinov, Denis Shadrin


«KUB» Theatre, St. Petersburg
Directors: Alexei Shishov, Boris Konstantinov, Denis Shadrin

A multimedia puppet performance about the siege of Leningrad

The siege of Leningrad was such a horrific page from history that from today’s perspective it seems the invention of a warped mind or a scary fairy tale. In Leningradka the siege turns out to be a fairy tale in double measure. While gathering material for the production its creators met a woman who had spent her childhood at the siege of Leningrad. At the beginning of the war her father was sent to the front and her mother was killed during German bombing, so the girl and all her toys moved to a wardrobe, where she lived until the end of the siege. For the child the siege became a horrific game – a game of survival in which she was assisted by a tiny poltergeist that her father had told her about before the war.

In the performance the girl and other characters exist on a transparent video screen, whereas in reality the puppets are acting. But the show creators manage to achieve an effect of such powerful presence that the audience feel no less real than the terrifying doll, Cold, or the eyeless tiny doll, Hunger, the Rat that exchanges a gold ring for bread or the little poltergeist that brings down Messerschmitt aircraft with its broom.

Elena Kovalskaya

The plot is based on a true story told by an old grandmother who at eight-years-old hid in a wardrobe along with her toys, drawings and books to escape the horrors of the blockade. The main heroine in Leningradka moves into the wardrobe after a bombing raid destroys her home. A legend about a poltergeist is the last thing she heard from her father. In her dreams the poltergeist appears in the image of a familiar yardman and manages to help her and somehow protect her. The story turns out to be a fairytale, but how the director portrays it, there is no childishness. The audience must be around seven years older than Karlsson’s spectators.

Zhanna Zaretskaya,
Afisha — St.Petersburg