In pre-Stalin Russia, Petrushka reigned supreme, where he performed his puppet's antics for people who had come to the fair to get drunk, fight, and maybe see a bear dance or a peep show.
In the original plays, he tries to buy a horse and flirt with a pretty girl. He also encounters a nitwit doctor, a priest who wants to save his soul, a sergeant who wants to draft him, and of course the devil. Needless to say, he outwits them all.
The Communists tried to sanitize this irreverent romp, then eradicate it completely. However, a few documents remain that made this reconstruction possible.
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