Mossovet Theatre

Mossovet Theatre

The Mossovet Theatre is very a traditional theatre. If you would prefer a more modern take on the theatre arts, head to, perhaps, the Gogol Centre. The Mossovet theatre is well-known, its history dating back to the 1930s. It is located in a picturesque garden called Aquarium in the Garden Ring (Russian: Sadovoye koltso or Садовое кольцо). The spirits of the two most prominent participants in 20th century theatre, K. Stanislavsky and Y. Vakhtangov, are alive here. One of their students was Y. Zavadsky, a famous artistic manager of the theatre from 1940 to 1977. He played Prince Calaf in Vakhtangov’s legendary production of “Turandot”. Lyubov Orlova, Rostislav Plyatt, and Faina Ranevskaya also performed at the Mossovet theatre during that time. Fans of the latter will enjoy a small memorial exhibition dedicated to the famous actress in one of the rooms on the first floor. Outstanding contemporary actors and actresses Olga Ostroumova, Georgy Taratorkin, Sergei Yursky, Olga Kabo, and Viktor Sukhorukov perform on the theatre stage today.

1773_image3_sAt present, Andrei Konchalovsky is staging classics – Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters”, and “The Cherry Orchard” – on the grand stage. The extremely popular rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” by A.L. Webber and T. Rice, which has been adopted for the theatre by Pavel Kholmsky, has been staged at the theatre for many years.  You can also watch stage adaptations of F. Dostoyevsky’s works at the Mossovet Theatre, including: “The Village of Stepanchikovo and Its Inhabitants” (a performance called “Foma Opiskin”) and “Crime and Punishment” (the play “R.R.R.”). Nevertheless, its repertoire is rather diverse. For example, Sergei Yursky has staged two absurd comedies – “The Ante-Room” and “Polonaise, or an Evening of the Absurd”. These performances are played “Under the Roof”, as the the second, smaller stage is known. On the same stage you can watch “The Reserve” –Moscow’s only stage adaptation of the legendary piece of prose by S. Dovlatov.

Plays by Soviet playwrights are also staged here. Among them are A. Arbuzov (“My Poor Marat”), M. Roshchin (“The Silver Age”), L. Zorin (“The Roman Comedy. Dion”). The latter premiered in 2014. Soviet playwright Leonid Zorin (most people know him as the author of the play the film “Pokrovsky Gate” is based on) tells the story of the confrontation between a treacherous emperor Domitian and the witty satirical poet Dion. Despite the antique theatrical scenery (the action takes place in Ancient Rome), the theme of confrontation between the authorities and intellectuals was topical 50 years ago, just as it is now.

The old Aquarium garden in Moscow, where the Mossovet Theatre is located, appeared at the end of the 19th century, in the place where the old vegetable gardens of the Novodevichy Convent (Russian: Novodevichy monastyr or Новодевичий монастырь) used to be. This was a recreational area for Moscow dwellers. Initially, the theatre was part of the garden and it hosted excellent comic sketches and operettas. The Moscow Music hall was opened in the building after the socialist revolution in 1917. It was described as the Variety Theatre in the famous novel “The Master and Margarita” by M. Bulgakov, who lived in a house nearby (10, Bolshaya Sadovaya str.). The Moscow City Council Theatre[1], which previously had no place of its own, settled down in the Aquarium in 1959. The present building was constructed especially for it in the depth of the garden. It was built by M. Zhirov, a famous Soviet architect and A. Vesnin’s student. The influence of Constructionism and Stalin’s Empire style are reflected in his work. The theatre has kept its “Soviet” name even after the perestroika[2] and over the years, it has firmly established itself on the cultural map of the city and the country.

[1]The full name of the Mossovet Theatre

[2]Reformation period in the Soviet Russia

© 2016-2018
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total number of grades: 1, average rating: 5.00 (from 5)

Within Garden Ring

Nearest Metro Station



Moscow, Bolshaya Sadovaya Ulitsa, 16


Museum Opening Hours / Ticket Office Opening Hours

Box office:
Monday — Friday: from 12:00 to 20:00,
Saturday — Sunday: from 12:00 to 19:00,
lunch with 15:00 to 16:00.

Days off


Ticket Price

From 200 to 3000 rubles, depending on performances and venues

Visiting Rules

The usual dramatic theatres, the entrance to the Hall after 3rd call denied


In front of the Mossovet Theatre. Photo:
Aquarium Garden. Fountains
Mossovet Theatre. Foyer
Aquarium Garden and Theatre. Photo from 1901
Mossovet Theatre. Auditorium
Roman Comedy. Dion, a theatrical performance

Featured reviews

Visitor rating:   4.5

September 2016

About the theatre – it is a “Soviet” theatre in a good sense. There’re good-natured and well-mannered staff that sell theatre programmes and usher the visitors to their seats, a cafeteria, which serves just the same old sandwiches with fish – Champagne - Cognac, spacious staircases – all these things put you into a harmonious and a bit nostalgic mood. The auditorium itself is steep in design – even those spectators who are as short as me will have a good view.

August 2016

Upon the recommendation of the older generation I decided to watch “Jesus Christ Superstar” at this theatre. Although the “show” left me discontent, I liked the theatre itself a lot: its location and interior, the stage which is well visible from virtually any seat. I will gladly go to watch another play there.

August 2016

Visited the Mossovet Theatre, went to “Ladies’ Night”.

I really liked the theatre itself, because it has got a good location, a rich history and an incredible theatre company – both then and now. It has also got a summer terrace (a balcony), where you can spend some time before the performance or during the interval, friendly staff and a wonderful square garden in the courtyard, which is worth a visit for no reason in particular. But the summer heat has its bad effect on the atmosphere – it is stuffy in the auditorium, at least in the second row of the circle. And the rows of seats are too close to each other – like in a low-cost carrier. If you are 170 cm tall or taller – it is beyond your comfort zone.

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