7 Best-Known Russian Theatre Performances That Are Worth to Watch

There are a lot of reasons as to why theatre art has been around for thousands of years and is still rising. Most people address theatre art as something magical, and truly an interesting experience.

First and foremost, theatre art brings people together. Not only it gets you to the same place, but it allows you to experience a particular show with one another. For many, going to the theatre has become some sort of tradition. Regardless of the specifics, theatre art can be a splendid thing to share with one another.

Second, just like movies and books, theatre art performances allow you to escape from harsh reality for the time being. While the performances can help you enter the world of imaginary, and temporarily leave your current lives, this escape can also give meaning into your lives as well.

Russian Theatre Performances

It has been known worldwide that Russia is so proud of its theatre art performance. Theatre plays have been always delivered by the best writers in Russia, and incredible performances express the tension of the era. Russian people have always had a habit to go to the theatre not so much for the entertainment but for revelation and the truth.

There are many scandalous theatre performances whose meaning of which is understood only by their writers. Nevertheless, some theatres, no matter how peculiar they are, keep the great traditions, create forehanded but at the same time high-quality performances; and the tickets to best theatres are sold months ahead.

Because of its nature, Russian theatre art performance has stayed faithful to classics. Beside popular foreign theatre arts, there are many original masterpieces in Russia. Often, they were produced by the best composers of their ages. In this article, I have compiled a list of 7 best-known Russian theatre performances that are worth to watch. Keep on reading!

  1. The Minor

The first performance for the Russian theatre art was produced in the second half of the 18th century. The language they used sounds so much of archaic to the modern ears that it is technically impossible to find it in today’s repertoire. But The Minor, theatre art performance written by Denis Fonvizin, is a rare exception. Even some quotes from the performance are still made of use in more or less everyday Russian life. For example, the words said by the lead character, young Mitrofanushka: “I do not want to study, I want to marry.”

  1. Woe from Wit

Woe from Wit was written by Alexander Griboyedov. It is a comedy in verse and has remained one of the main theatre art performances in Russia’s theatrical repertoire. It was produced back in 1825 in the classical tradition which all the scenes take place in the span of one day and in one house and it tells the audiences about one love story. The performance starts off with Famusov, the not-yet-old owner of the house, appears on the stage with an axe and goes on with great determination to cut off some books into firewood.


  1. Masquerade

Masquerade was written by Mikhail Lermontov. It is a play revolving around romantic melodrama that has become legendary; it all thanks to the famous Russian theatre director Vsevolod Meyerhold, whose production of the theatre art performance premiered in the Alexandrinsky Theatre on the evening of the 1917 February Revolution. So the performance, on which Meyerhold had gone about seven years, became an iconic farewell to the Empire.

  1. Marriage

Marriage is another comedy written by Nikolai Gogol that has not lost its charm over the last century and a half. It is a story about the unsuccessful ventures at wedlock of a middle-aged civil worker and his proposal of marriage to a woman who is also not so young, and who is agonizingly trying to pick from some other suitors. There is the following phrase uttered by the aspiring woman that has entered the Russian language, indicating a difficult choice: “If one were to put Nikanor Ivanovich’s lips together with Ivan Kuzmich’s nose and then mix in some of Baltazar Baltazarovich’s delicate manner…”

  1. The Storm

The Storm was written by Alexander Ostrovsky. It is a story about the real tragedy of trust and love at the separation of which Katerina the heroine jumps off a cliff and dives into Russia’s most well-known river, the Volga. The performance includes the luscious beauty and lyricism of Russian day-to-day life, as well as its terrible provincial modesty, which is what finally leads to the heroine’s devastation.

  1. The Government Inspector

The Government Inspector was written by Nikolai Gogol. The play is still considered as the main comedy of Russian theatre. It tells a story about a minor civil servant who is mistaken for a notable government inspector just because he has come to the rural areas from the then-capital St. Petersburg.


  1. Egyptian Nights

The play is based on an unfinished novel written by Russia’s most famous writer, Alexander Pushkin, as well as the scripts of Silver Age poet, Valery Brusov, who had the cheek and tried to finish the story. It really is classics in its pure form.

It tells a story of Cleopatra, the female ruler of Egypt, as told to high-society men and women by an impecunious Italian improviser, Signor Pindemonti. The way he recounts the story is so exciting that the audiences, doubting at first, eventually become amazed by his talent.

So, those are 7 best-known Russian theatre performances that are worth to watch. There is still a tremendous variety when it comes to Russian theatre art performances. However, those listed above are plays that have been known for their capacity to wow Russian and international audiences. Some even go on foreign tours every year. So, if you do not have a chance to visit Russia but still want to enjoy its theatre art performances, you can opt for seeing them in other countries.

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