Anna Nekrassova: Before Thumbelina

7.-8.2.2023 MANIPULATE Festival, Edinburgh, 10.2.2023 Seminaarinmäen nukketeatterifestivaali,  Jyväskylä I

A visually stunning solo performance for adults about challenges, dreams and perseverance.

I am a desert, full of tumbleweeds. No flowers, no rain. Fear crawls towards me, digs itself out from the dry ground, takes me in its tight embrace and whispers: “What if yet this seed will change nothing?

Before Thumbelina is an everyday fairytale that beautifully unfolds a touching story about infertility by the means of puppetry and object theatre. It regards fears and challenges one faces when chasing their dreams. Nekrassova’s visually stunning performance weaves into a multi-faceted and skillful entity leaving room for audience’s personal experiences.  

Carried by song, rhythms as well as puppet and object theater, the first solo performance by Annan Nekrassova focuses on the moment before H. C. Andersen’s renowned story of Thumbelina. The very moment is focused on the story’s Mother, a character we only get to see by glimpse in the original tale.

Before Thumbelina premiered at Turku International Puppetry Festival in 2021 and has visited Åbo Svenska Teater in Turku, Oh My Puppets -festival in Helsinki and Manipulate festival in Edinburgh as well as Seminaarinmäen nukketeatterifestivaali in Jyväskylä, FI.

Anna Nekrassova is the writer, directr and performer of this delicate solo piece. The working group is formed around the piece. Puppets: Laura Hallantie Sound design and composition: Antti-Juhani Manninen Light design: Irene Lehtonen Rhythms and movement consultant: Akseli Nivala.

Photo: Jesper Dolgov

The performance brings beautifully forth, through metaphors, how it feels to be in a body and mind of a woman suffering of infertility. The performance as a whole is well put together and does not feel restraining despite its theme. On the contrary it is characterised with the unexpected as well as playfullness. A difficult subject can be discussed strongly trough stage art – there is no need to whisper.

Frida Maria Pessi, Turun Sanomat 4.11.2021
Photo: Jesper Dolgov
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