VERTEP MYSTERY > English > Vertep

The vertep mystery The Death of King Herod is a traditional puppet performance that has been performed in Russia since the 18th century.

The traditional vertep box represents a two-level house or cathedral, usually with a Star of Bethlehem above. The nativity events are performed on the upper level, while episodes with Herod as well as everyday, comic scenes take place on the lower level. Wooden puppets are fastened to sticks that allow the figures to move secretly through slits in the floor.

Vertep was often played during the Christmas season, but until the late 19th century it was also performed throughout the year and at summer fairs.

Themes the vertep discusses are relevant to all, regardless of worldview or belief system: it demands the punishment of great evil that considers its power unlimited, grapples with understanding the fragility of the universe, and celebrates the joy of new life.

The Death of King Herod by Vagrant Booth Teatre was staged in 2012.

In 2016 the performance was awarded with Grand-Prix of the Nyabiosy Festival (Belorussia).

Performance duration 40 minutes. For everyone over the age of 4

Video of the Vertep mystery by Vagrant Booth Theatre: click here