In the city of Saint Petersburg, in Admiralty Square, there is a big fair. The year is 1838. They are celebrating the traditional Russian feast of Maslenitsa, the Shrovetide fair that lasts for a week and ends with the Carnival. Everyone is having fun. Among the attractions of the fair, something amazing happens. A Charlatan appears with a puppet theatre, where he keeps three string puppets. They are the Moor, the Ballerina and Petrushka.
Inanimate beings, when they attain the category of human, discover an unknown world; they experience emotions. To enter the world of humans is to gain access to the mysterious emotion of love. And everything that accompanies it: attraction, jealousy, possession, anger, melancholy, joy, insecurity, daring.
This is what happens to these three puppets. “Never seen before”. “Step right up”. “Living puppets”. The breath of life comes from the Charlatan’s flute. It is the magic of music. His flute is like a magic wand, like a conductor’s baton, like the wooden pole from which the strings that give life to a puppet hang.
Petrushka experiences his first love. With all the clumsiness that his inexperience can unleash. And also with the added difficulty of a rival. Petrushka loves the Ballerina, and the Ballerina has been seduced by the Moor.
We have all had a first love. And our first heartbreak. And even so, will we not say, like the poet, that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?
All magic requires a drumroll.
“Step right up. The show is about to begin.