Photo: Théâtre de Carouge

Semianyki Express: It’s hard to describe this theatrical piece but I can tell you what I went in thinking and what I came out feeling like.

I went in thinking: Hmmm, Russian theater. I’m not sure if our senses of humor are compatible. And, if it is resembles the infamous Russian novels in the least bit, a drawn out, melancholic performance awaits me.

And yet I came out of the theater feeling refreshed by the lightness of the whole performance. The cast is top-notch, very interactive and engaging, sometimes calling on unsuspecting members of the audience sitting in the first row to come up and join them on stage. Throughout the entire performance they were completely silent, which makes all their performance all the more impressive as they moved completely in sync with the background music. Olga Eliseeva was a definite favorite, with her incredibly expressive face and Kasyan Ryvkin’s Joker-like makeup and look instantly drew me in.

You learn something new every day, including that Russian theater is quite brilliant. I’m happy to have been pleasantly surprised and reminded that I shouldn’t let my preconceptions get the best of me. Although you can’t catch the Semianyki Express in Geneva anymore, the troupe is doing a world tour and if I could, I would probably go watch it again in another city. This performance has definitely put the Carouge Theater on the map for me, too. I’m curious about what else they’ll be showing this season.