Come and experience the unique Russian art and craft of Sharmanka! Sharmanka was originally founded by mechanic-sculptor Eduard Bersudsky and theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya in St Petersburg in 1989. Since its creation, audiences in different countries across the world have been fascinated by its magic, and since its introduction in Glasgow in 1996, it has gained a reputation for being one of Glasgow’s hidden gems of places to visit.

What does Sharmanka involve?

Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre in Glasgow consists of hundreds of carved characters and pieces from old scrap materials. These characters and figures are then choreographed to haunting music and synchronised light displays, telling the stories of the human race in a funny and tragic manner.

The Theatre took a heavy hit after it was temporarily closed due to covid restrictions but since then have relaunched their regular shows. In addition to their regular shows, the Theatre has also relaunched their private and group bookings. To book a slot for a regular show or your own private one, please visit the Box Office that can be found on the Theatre’s website.

Sharmanka Origins

Sharmanka is a collaboration between sculptor and mechanic Eduard Bersudsky, theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya, and light and sound designer Sergey Jakovsky. Bersudsky, born in 1939 Russia, started sculpting quite late into his 20’s. By 1974, he began to show his work at “non-conformist” art exhibitions, in protest of Soviet Russia ideology. A few years later he began producing the kinemats, the sculptures you will see today controlled by a sophisticated system of electrotonic devices and incorporating a range of curious objects and carvings. These were only seen by close friends until 1988, where he met Jakovskaya and founded the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre. They were later driven out of Russia due to lack of funds and support for art more generally – it was at this time they were invited to Glasgow to show their work, and have been running their gallery/workshop since 1996!

At the Theatre guests will find 3 main displays, each telling different stories and introducing visitors to new characters. The wooden collection on display was the original collection to feature at the theatre, created in St Petersburg prior to Sharmanka’s opening to the public. The other 2 main collections include the Metal Kinemats, and the Proletarian Greeting displays.

  • Prices can vary between different types of shows
  • Information on ticket prices can be found via the theatre’s website
  • In-depth timetables of upcoming shows and events can be found on the theatre’s website
  • The average price of adult tickets is between £7 and £10
  • The average price of child tickets is between £4 and £6

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