Upstairs, "actors" on display

Moscow Cats Theater

Published: August 8, 2014

Moscow Cats Theater/Театр Кошек Куклачева
Kutuzovksy 25, Moscow
Showtimes at 12:00, 2:00, and 4:00pm
Tickets range from 300 rubles-1500 rubles

This little oddity is a relative unknown, even for many Muscovites. It’s not a human theater about cats; it’s a theater where cats are the performers and the backdrop. Adults recommended it to me, but certainly it is a performance created for children. Still it was very interesting, and had all the pageantry and creativity inherent in Russian performance.

Created in 1990 by Yuri Kuklachev, and now operated by his son Dmitri, the Moscow Cat Theater now goes on the road as the “World’s Only Moscow Cat Circus,” taking its animals on tour all over the world. Their website boasts 200 cat “actors” with 38 breeds of cats in their acts.

The building itself is a wonder; it feels like a cat museum. Everywhere you see that the building has been transformed for a specific feline purpose. Cat statues stand at the entrance; cat themed art lines the walls and comprises the themes of stained glass windows. The balconies, bannisters, and door handles are cats. There are display cases of cat memorabilia on the stairs.

The main level has a decorative hallway where toys and souvenirs, many cat related, are sold. There is a café on the upper level. And there you can also see some live cats, living in very posh, domestic glass cages.

The performance was imaginative and entertaining. Cats were behaving like little rascals, confounding the clowns and providing a lot of comedy. And it’s really amazing that the cats are trained to do tricks and play-act, seemingly without cues! There are even a couple of star dog performers. There is great audience participation, one cat being petted by any audience member who wanted the chance.

During the performance the cats seemed tranquil and pleasant, the actors handled them with respect and care. It was made for children, the clowns and scenery colorful and the plot were very simple, but it was definitely a unique and creative show.

About the author

Sarah Parker

Sarah Parker, at the time she wrote for this site, was a University of Utah student working on an undergraduate in Business Operations with a minor in Russian Language. After SRAS' Russian as Second Language program in 2014, she planned to complete her degree and begin work on her career goal of increasing commercial trade between Russia and the Americas. She is seen here being chased by a bear near Pavlovsk.

Program attended: Challenge Grants

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