“Aistyonok” (Little Stork) Puppet Theatre / Театр кукол “Аистенок”
ул. Байкальская, 32
Box office hours: 10am – 2pm and 3-6pm, closed Mondays
Tickets from 100-200 rubles
Tickets range from 100-200 rubles and are worth every kopeck. Recently I went to see a puppet show for adults called the Divine Comedy, written by the Soviet playwright Isidor Shtok. The script of the play is unrelated to Dante’s epic poem, but is humorously based on the biblical story of humanity’s creation, and Adam and Eve’s fall from the Garden of Eden. The show is a mix of live acting with masks and puppetry, with a team of puppeteers clad in black, who guide the puppets skillfully with their invisible hands.The Irkutsk puppet theatre, a bright blue building that we pass every day on our bus route to school, is a fun place to go for affordable entertainment that you don’t have to plan too far in advance to enjoy.
It was very well done, and the dialogue was understandable even for people there with beginning-level Russian. The humor was excellent, and kept us laughing throughout the show, between the entertaining masks, the puns and the cultural and local references (at one moment, God reflects on the wonders of the world and among them mentions Baikal’s famous delicacy, the fish, omul).
The show was long, about two hours with a 10-15 minute intermission in between, so you are kept well entertained for long time at a very low price. While the seats do fill up for these shows, you do not generally need to buy tickets too far in advance. The puppet theater is a great way to spend an evening watching an entertaining art form common in Russia and rarely seen in the states.