If there’s only one performance you have time to attend in Tbilisi, let it be the one in Rezo Gabriadze theatre.
This marionette theatre was opened in 1981 by the man of many talents and a unique sense of creativity. He is an artist and a storyteller, a sculptor and a film director. The marionettes are created with his own hands, and the stories are filled with infinite kindness and love of the humankind. The moment you step out of the theatre you feel you’ve become a better person. One of the famous Russian writers Andrei Bitov also said that the world of Gabriadze is so so truly and authentically Georgian, that you fail to imagine that there could have been a man to create it. Rezo Gabriadze is known internationally, and his shows received a number of awards at the theatre festivals all over the world.
At our Tbilisi Traditions tour, we pass by the building of the theatre and admire its unique structure, and the Taste of Tbilisi tour also starts nearby. The unusual leaning tower in the Old City immediately grabs your attention, especially at noon when the clock strikes and the puppets sneak out to perform in the public.
There are currently four marionette shows in the repertoire of the theatre — Ramona, Autumn of my Spring, Stalingrad, and the Diamond of Marshal de Fant’e, — and there is also a very interesting film project Rezo which was released in May 2018. It’s partly a movie, partly a cartoon, and Rezo Gabriadze tells the stories of his childhood there.
The theatre is really small and cozy with only 80 seats and has a special atmosphere, but the tickets sell out very quickly, so if you’re traveling in high season you should definitely try and buy your tickets online about 1 month in advance, otherwise high chances are there will not be any available by the time you arrive. If you’re traveling in the low season, you can try checking at the box office on the first day of your trip. To buy tickets online visit the tkt.ge website, it has an English version. You can also check the dates of the shows on the official website of the theatre.
Written by Polina, a local guide