Sunday, June 3, 2007

Circus, circus

Last night we went to a performance of a Russian theater troupe that performs in mime. Sounds terrible, doesn't it? It was the single funniest show any of us had seen in years.

In this theater of the absurd a family of characters enacted a surrealistic vision of family life, complete with four bizarre children, from a toddler to a teenage boy, a grotesque but wonderful mother who keeps them somewhat in line and a father who keeps threatening to leave until he finally does. There's no way I can describe the howls of laughter from an audience of all ages. The acting was brilliant, the staging, music and special effects equally wonderful, and the characters' interactions with members of the audience, rather than being awkward and off-putting, brought us all into the show.

I wish I had pictures to post, but take my word for it, Semianyki is not to be missed if there's any way you can see it. It is a collective creation by the Theatr Licedei, around since the '60s in the old USSR, continuing since then in some form, and currently running a clown school in Saint Petersburg.

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