Anna Viktorova

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.


The principal productions:

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

“I am in favor of theatre where the main author is a designer, or a director, or a creative team. I am in favor of theatre which is not afraid of trying, searching, making mistakes. Auteur theatre comes from the author, a personality who can say something, infect others with his or her ideas. When I go to theatre, I am attracted by the name of a specific author or a team. In my opinion, there should be fewer theatre companies, but the quality should be higher. It seems that when an endless quantity of state theatres is created, the meaning is gone. We seem to forget WHAT we need this FOR.”
Natalia Sergeyevskaya, The Neurospaste
“A marionette is a violin, a very complex instrument, and one should learn how to play it. The one who stands behind it is a violinist, the one who has made it – a good instrument maker, and the production is music in pictures.”
Natalia Sergeyevskaya, The Neurospaste
“I think that theatre should provoke, it should make the audience think and want to reread the book, perhaps to argue with the director, to formulate some kind of an opinion…”
Anna Rapoport, Papmambook [Dadmumbook]


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.


Mass Media Feedback:

“...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.”

Yulia Netesova


“…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…”

Alyona Karas’

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...”

Tatiana Dzhurova


“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…”

Zhanna Zaretskaya