Anna Viktorova is a theatre director and designer, the Artistic Director of St. Petersburg theatre KUKFO (Puppet Format), winner of the Russian National Theatre Award THE GOLDEN MASK (Robin the Bobbin, 2005; Rider CUPRUM, 2007). She has worked in collaboration with many Russian and international the
Anna Viktorova’s KUKFO is an auteur theatre with European chamber atmosphere, flawlessly fitting into the landscape of St. Petersburg theatre. Being aware of itself as a part of St. Petersburg, the theatre actively participates in the city’s life, charitable projects, large and small city events such as Dostoevsky Day, the ABC of Theatre, Museum Night, etc. In its more than ten years of existence, KUKFO has traveled half the world, from Italy to South Korea, winning awards at many international festivals. In 2013 the company got its own home in St. Petersburg, at Pushkinskaya Street, 19.
The undoubted highlight of KUKFO’s repertoire for adults is the cycle of St. Petersburg stories: Rider CUPRUM, The Mistake of Student Raskolnikov, The Queen of Spades. In the company’s repertoire there are also productions for secondary school students and the youngest audience members, who are invited to explore the theatre universe. Lightness and humor, irony and common sense – those are the key features of Anna Viktorova’s style of directing and the creative searches of KUKFO.
Rider CUPRUM — 2003, KUKFO
Crime and Punishment — 2007, KUKFO
The Tempest — 2009, KUKFO
Mermaid Sveta from the village of Peremilovo — 2013, KUKFO
The Queen of Spades — 2015, KUKFO
The Scarlet Flower — 2014, KUKFO
Robin the Bobbin — 2005, KUKFO
Kashtanka — 2014, KUKFO
Name: Viktorova Anna Valeryevna
Place of birth: Petersburg
Education: SPbGATI, puppet theatre department (studied theatre design; workshop of Tamara Vasilyevna Mironova, 1999).
Career: I started working in puppet theatre thanks to Rezo Gabriadze and his production The Autumn of our Spring. Later I worked with Rezo as an actress and puppeteer in the production The Song of the Volga. In 2003 KUKFO theatre opened, where I first started working as a puppeteer and stagehand, then as a lighting technician and sound director, and later as a designer and director. Today I am the Artistic Director of KUKFO theatre. As a designer I have worked in theatres of Russia and abroad.
Favorite system of puppets/texture: Marionette.
Does a performance need text? It depends on the performance – and the text.
Is the expression “puppet theatre” still relevant today? All good productions are relevant – with or without puppets.
What, in your opinion, is the difference between puppet theatre in Russia and the West? I am not in favor of the structure of state theatres, whether in Russia or abroad. In the first place, I am interested in the author, designer, or director, the actor or creative team. The author may be living in Russia or another country, work in a state or private theatre. I think that puppet theatre can only be auteur.
“...Crime and Punishment performed in Palermo for three days. The very first performance was greeted with shouts: “Bravissimo!”, there were five encores. The audience was very diverse – from the lovers of puppet theatre to Russophiles and students of Slavonic studies who came from the University of Catania to see this production.
The audiences were undoubtedly impressed by the actual story of little Napoleon told by magical, alive puppets of Anna Viktorova. The principal mission of Puppet Format on Sicily was to prove that this genre can master not only puppet stories; the mission succeeded, and the actors did splendidly. Perhaps soon, on the stages of Palermo theatres the audiences will be able to see not only paladins and imaginary monsters, but also the characters of Dante Alighieri, Luigi Pirandello, and Dario Fo.”
“…surprising in its beauty and talent, Rider CUPRUM is a legend of love for the ghostlike city and its poets. Contrary to the legend about ‘the city on the bones’, young designers and actors perform their myth about the city, created thanks to love…”
Rossiyskaya Gazeta [Russian Newspaper]
“The apocrypha with the elements of horror. In puppet theatre it is possible to do everything, which is unacceptable in drama theatre. Everything that would have been sentimental, sugary if performed by live actors, is fully justified by ‘naive’ puppet nature… The action takes place both on the ground and the water. During the flood scene, the insidious water at some point presents the audience with an admirable and eerie surprise, which gives us goose bumps. We will not disclose what surprise it is – no spoilers...”
“In the repertoire of St. Petersburg theatres we can hardly find three other productions for preschoolers where there would be as much talent and inventiveness as in Robin the Bobbin created by Anna Viktorova, the Golden Mask winner…”