The Teatrium in SerpukhovkaRussian: Teatrium na Serpukhovke or Театриум на Серпуховке is one of the most visited children’s theatres in Moscow. It takes about 10 minutes to get there from the city centre by metro. The core of its repertoire is musicals and musical performances for children aged 6 and over, staged by its director Tereza Durova. Plays with bright costumes and stage sets are performed to live orchestra music. The most famous productions are “The Flying ShipRussian: Letuchiy korabl or Летучий корабль”, “The TinderboxRussian: Ognivo or Огниво”, “Bu-ra-ti-noRussian: Бу-ра-ти-но”, “MowgliRussian: Маугли”, “The Scarlet FlowerRussian: Alenkiy tsvetochek or Аленький цветочек” and “The Prince and the PauperRussian: Prints i nischiy or Принц и нищий”.
Live music accompanies every long performance, and in some productions, the orchestra is placed on a high platform so that the audience can see what instruments are playing. The instruments played by the orchestra are diverse, including modern, classical and ethnic varieties. The actors also sing, and because the songs are chosen from well-known children’s films and cartoons, the audience often sings along. The theatre collaborates with outstanding composers and poets, for example, Maksim Dunaevsky, Aleksey Rybnikov, Yuri Entin, and Andrey Usachev. In many performances the beautiful music, stage sets, and sophisticated costumes are accompanied by special effects. For example, real rain falls from the sky, a rose appears from a fire and a knight’s flag from pieces of fabric, a ship rockets up into the sky, and characters fly above the stage.
The Teatrium boasts one of the largest auditoriums among children’s theatres in Moscow, seating 1027 people (this is second only to N. Sats’s Musical TheatreRussian: Muzykalnyi teatr N.I. Sats or Музыкальный театр Н.И. Сац auditorium). There is also a Small Hall (seating 152) and the Children’s ParlourRussian: Detskaya gostinaya or Детская гостиная (seating 40). The seats, the equipment, etc. are new, as the theatre was last renovated in 2014. Every year there are about 20 different performances available on the program. Nearly all the musicals and musical plays were created by theatre director Tereza Durova. Plays for the small stage were created by the Teatrium directors and visiting directors from Italy and France. Performances last about 2 hours on average with one interval.
“The Flying Ship” (6+) is probably the most popular production, having been a huge hit since 2010. It is a musical in keeping with the best traditions of Broadway shows; it is based on the eponymous well-loved cartoon. Songs with which every Russian child and adult know by heart accompany the performance, including: “If Only my Dream Came True…”, “I’m a water elf, I am a water elf”, Babki-YozhkiBaba Yaga, or Babka Yozhka, is a Russian folklore character‘s couplets, and many others.
Another musical much loved by the audience is “Mowgli” (6+) (it has been twice nominated for the prestigious Golden MaskRussian: Zolotaya maska or Золотая маска Award). It features dialogues not only in Russian but also in Hindi. The orchestra plays ethnic instruments. The costumes, the stage sets, and the actors’ dances are inspired by the Indian culture.
“The Prince and The Pauper” (6+) is a popular play too. The production is based on Mark Twain’s novel accompanied with medieval music and Andrey UsachevRussian children's writer, poet, and playwright‘s poems. It is the only play for children which has won the prestigious Russian theatre award Hit of the SeasonRussian: Gvozd sezona or Гвоздь сезона. The play called “The Tinderbox” (6+), based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of the same name, has been on the theatre repertoire since 2011. It features interesting stage sets, sophisticated costumes, and lively, dynamic songs and dancing together with excellently staged fights. You can buy CDs with music from “The Tinderbox” and “The Flying Ship” at the theatre.
At the end of 2014, an interactive theatrical and educational project called “Fairy Tales by the Russian StoveRussian: Skazki u pechki or Сказки у печки” for children aged 3 to 7 was added to the repertoire for the younger audience members. It is performed in the Children’s Parlour seating 40. There is a stove here and children are asked to sit on benches in front of it. An actor playing a brownieRussian: domovoy, a home spirit in the Russian folklore begins a fairy tale. He discusses the details of the fairy tale with children and asks questions. After the play he lets the children fly Baba Yaga’s broom, carry buckets on a shoulder yoke, and climb on the stove. The performance lasts 40 minutes.
Every autumn, the theatre hosts Russia’s largest International Festival of plays for children called GavrocheRussian: Гаврош. Each year, it is dedicated to the theatrical traditions of a particular country: France, Italy, Denmark, Israel, and others.
Before performances and during intervals there are activities for children in the lobby, including animation areas and mini-productions. Before the performance begins, you are welcome to take a plastic platform for your child so that they can be seated at a higher level and see everything properly. Cars can be parked along PavlovskayaRussian: Павловская and Bolshaya SerpukhovskayaRussian: Большая Серпуховская streets, in the municipal car park. If you go by metro, you will need to walk for about 10 minutes.
Until 2010, the Teatrium was called The Moscow Clownade TheatreRussian: Moskovskiy teatr klounady or Московский театр клоунады and was the only repertory theatre in this genre. The name change came along with a change in the theatre focus, which switched from clown art to musical and dramatic productions.