A theatre with wooden puppets or a gallery with moving sculpture and live performance? At Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre it's both but either way it's fascinating. Based in Trongate 103, an arts centre in a repurposed Edwardian warehouse, shows involve carved grotesques bringing stories to life, aided by props made from recycled scrap, expert lighting and sympathetic music. The central themes can be funny or tragic but all are underpinned by the problem of the human condition – that we are born, live, then die. Russian artist Eduard Bersudsky has been making wooden figures and kinetic sculpture since the 1970s in Leningrad, now known as St Petersburg again.
He began a collaboration with theatre critic and director Tatyana Jakovskaya in the late 1980s and so Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre was born. The third team member, Sergey Jakovsky, joined when he was barely in his teens to do light and sound. Given a choice between post-Soviet Russia and Scotland in the 1990s, the trio opted for Glasgow and have been enchanting audiences here ever since with shows that can cut through an adult sensibility to entrance with their simplicity and resonance. Performances involve an entry charge although Bersudsky's work can be viewed in the gallery space for free – see website for details.
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