Major award received for third time

Brest Puppet Theatre’s Kholstomer (Strider), based on Leo Tolstoy’s story, wins Grand Prix at 15th World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague

By Larisa Shiganovich

The forum in the Czech capital brought together 35 theatrical companies from over 30 countries worldwide. Belarus was represented by Brest’s Puppet Theatre. Director and Artistic Leader Mikhail Shavel notes that, alongside winning a Grand Prix at this prestigious theatrical forum, prizes were also claimed for best stage direction, sets, puppets and background music.

Kholstomer is a joint Belarusian-Russian project, staged by St. Petersburg director Ruslan Kudashov. “A letter of gratitude, received by our theatre from the festival’s director reads that it was the first time in the history of this event that one performance has won so many awards,” notes Mr. Shavel. “Of course, it’s very pleasant and is a perfect stimulus for further work.”

Prior to this, Brest’s Puppet Theatre has twice taken part in the World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague (in 2006 and 2010), also winning major awards. It is the first time in the existence of the festival that one theatre has been awarded the Grand Prix three times.

“We’ve now been invited to take part in another prestigious forum of puppetry — in Charleville-Mezieres, near Paris, in September. It’s conducted under the aegis of the International Union of Puppetry,” explains Mr. Shavel. “The festival will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. As far as I know, over the last three decades, Belarusian theatrical art hasn’t been represented at the event. We’ll show our Salieri’s Moon, based on Pushkin’s work, in Charleville-Mezieres.”

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