The Rostov State Puppet Company came to Glasgow as part of a twinning exchange with Glasgow District Council in May 1991 and performed at SMPC and toured to local schools with their performances of Teremok (The Wooden Hut). The play was written and adapted by Natalia Shavva form an old Russian folk tale and then was reworked by Stephen Mulrine, Senior Lecturer at Glasgow School of Art. It was then directed by Vladimir Bylkov and performed by Glasgow actress, Libby McArthur.
The first contact with the company was in 1990 when they brought their production of The Gingerbread Boy. The puppets are made from papier-mache and inspired by the design of Russian matryoshka dolls and Russian folk art. There are two versions of kolobok (the gingerbread boy), his grandparents, a bear, a fox, a wolf, a frog and two musicians. They have moving heads and mouths and are handheld in performance and operated by puppeteers dressed in black wearing black hoods.
All the puppets, props, scenery, lighting, sound and drapes arrived in large aluminium boxes (formerly used for storing munitions). After the residency was over and they costed the price of returning all the freight which turned out to be prohibitively expensive they decided to leave everything with SMPC for display purposes. Since 2000 the puppets have formed part of our UK touring exhibition The Magic of Masks and Puppets.