Historically, the Russians can boast a particularly fruitful theatrical scene that has produced a number of world-renowned playwrights and premiered their pioneering acting methods. Russia’s theatrical golden age was arguably the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century when famous artists created the backdrops and scenery to performances while choreographers collaborated on the ballets that were changing from traditional Russian themes to western Romantic themes. Russian theatre is still among the best in the world and, despite the horrors of the 2002 theatre siege, there is still a thriving performance scene. Check Friday’s edition of The Moscow Times for full listings of all events.
Moscow Theatres Travel Guide
1. Bolshoi Theatre
Possibly the most famous venue in the world for performing arts, this beautiful building not only shows wonderful productions but has been the scene of many an important social and political gathering. Lenin’s speeches frequently echoed around the walls and Tschaikovsky’s Swan Lake premiered here (albeit unsuccessfully) in 1887. Ticket prices vary from R200-1500 and can be bought online, through agencies and at kiosks throughout the city. Expect to pay more as a foreigner and make sure you stay in your seat during the intervals and watch Moscow’s chattering classes posing by the stage to ‘be seen’.
2. Chekhov Art Theatre
Kamergersky per 3 Telephone – 229 8760
Still referred to by the old Soviet name of MKhAT, this is where method acting was invented under Stanislavsky. Occasionally English-speaking dramatic productions can be seen. Tickets cost from R100-500.
3. Maly Theatre
Theatralnystre Telephone – 095 292 0050
Reconstructed in 1938, for decades this was Russia’s leading classical drama theatre. Tickets cost from R30-300.
4. Mossoviet Theatre
16, Bolshaya Sadovaya Telephone – 095 299 2035
Producing a range of contemporary dramas, comedies and musicals to suit all the family, tickets will set you back R40-500.
5. Moscow Operetta
6, Bol. Dmitrovka ul Telephone – 095 292 6377
Founded in 1927 to develop the relatively new genre of modern dramatic musical comedies, this theatre now shows classic operettas and modern musicals. Tickets cost R10-50.
6. Satire Theatre
2, Triumfalnya Pl. Telephone – 095 299 6139
When the theatre was opened in the 1920’s, the performances were solely dedicated to political and social reviews. Times have changed, along with the subject matter, and now social comedies and Mayakovsky’s plays can be enjoyed. Tickets are R40-300.