Photo 1. Puppet Theater
Photo 2. Fountain Thumbelina near the Puppet Theater
Address: 1a, Grushevskogo Str., (European Square), Kiev
Phone: +38044 278-58-08
“Kiev Academic Puppet Theatre“ is the oldest puppet theatre in Ukraine, that was founded in 1927 as a branch of “Young Spectator’s Theatre”. Initiators of theatre’s creation were People’s Artist Alexander Solomarskiy and actress Irina Deeva. But only in 1929 the “Puppet Theater” withdrew from “YST”.
Originally, new theatre functioned in the building of former cinema “Rote Fane” (Khreschatik st., 36). From 1936 till the beginning of the Great Patriotic War it occupied present “Actor’s House” (Yaroslavov Val st., 7), and in 1955 it was moved to the building of former Choral Synagogue, were it stayed till 1997, when the building was returned to Judaic commune. 8 years afterwards the theatre didn’t have its own place, traveling by the stages taken for rent, when in 2005 the actual building was built – true fairy castle, surely one of the best buildings of modern architecture in Kiev. Acoustics and equipment of the new theatre are among the best ones in Europe.
The project of “Kiev Academic Puppet Theatre“ was developed by the architect Vitaliy Yudin. Three-storey building in the form of fairy castle with steeples contains two halls – for 300 and 110 spectators. On the first floor you can find the children’s café plus, the museum of antiques puppets, where you can even touch the marionettes of all ages and countries. Peculiar butterflies, tigers and dragons “inhabited” the second floor of puppet castle. And the third floor is the true happiness for kids – the magic heroes of fairy-tales and cartoons peep out through every corner.
The territory around the theatre is decorated in fairy style too – amusing flowerbeds, stairs, fountains, sculptures of fairy characters. The effect is strengthened with building-tower of the café nearby and former water tower, where the Museum of Water is situated.
All the “actors” of the puppet theatre are the “veterans” of the scene in the literal sense. The main puppets stay the same for more than 80 years (!). Periodically they’re restored, “crew” increases with the new figures, but the “heroes” of such a venerable age make the show even more interesting. Artistic director of the theatre is Petrenko Nikolai Ivanovich.