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Pickled Republic: Ruxy Cantir’s Absurdly Riotous Scottish Tour


Renowned artist Ruxy Cantir is gearing up to embark on a Scottish tour this Autumn, showcasing her highly praised tragicomic solo performance, Pickled Republic. The tour is proudly presented by Scissor Kick.

In this bold and imaginative production, puppets, produce, and phantasmagoria intertwine, offering a delightfully nonsensical experience. Audiences are invited to immerse themselves in an otherworldly fusion of Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist charm and the enigmatic allure of David Lynch’s atmospheric storytelling. Through this unique blend, Cantir’s work delves into themes of despair and purpose with an unapologetic lack of grace.

Welcome to the jar – here, tragedy floats in the salty atmosphere. As the contents of the jar begin to go off and rot, we meet a series of pickled vegetables – including a pickled tomato and a potato-headed lounge singer – who come to life to ask major existential questions and offer ridiculous answers. As putrefaction engulfs the jar, the characters lament on lives not lived, reckoning with their inevitable plight through their last hurrahs. Be prepared to witness the chaotic energy of the search for meaning and try to find the connection between these decaying vegetables and your own existence. You’ll leave all stirred up, but none the wiser.

Moldova-born, US-trained, and Glasgow-based visual theatre maker Ruxy strives to create an imaginative, intensity-filled environment that utilises the power of physical theatre to confront the overwhelming feelings of dread and despair in a funny and inquisitive manner. Since moving to Scotland in 2015, Ruxy has been awarded numerous grants to develop new indoor and outdoor work, including the 2021 APA/Eden Court/Capital Theatres Early Years Christmas Performance Commission, the Inaugural SURGE Street Theatre Bursary, and the ScotRail Foundation/Foundation Scotland Cultural Arts Grant. After the success of their Scottish tour of Two in a Barrel, Ruxy and Scissor Kick are delighted to be collaborating again on Pickled Republic, which has been awarded Creative Scotland Touring Funding for Theatre and Dance for this Autumn tour.

Pickled Republic was inspired by an absurdly funny event at a funeral in my native Moldova, which was a reminder that we live in a constantly paradoxical space where tragedy and comedy collide. The show explores our constant search for meaning and purpose alongside our ridiculous reactions to the reality of death. 

After years of feeling adrift and afraid during the pandemic, we need some catharsis to deal with some major reckonings the pandemic has unearthed. This completely bonkers show set as a cabaret in an increasingly mouldy jar with pickled veg characters provides a humorous and outrageous world where we can safely wrestle with questions the pandemic has raised for some of us: what gives meaning and purpose to our lives? And what is our relationship to time passing vis-a-vis (un)fulfilment?

Ruxy Cantir

This absurdly riotous cabaret explores our search and need for purpose, teaming inventive clowning, puppetry, and mask theatre to create a stirring spectacle of pitch-black humour and pulpy carnage. Come and witness a performance that promises more vegetables per pound than any current supermarket – there’s no need to worry about inflation when there’s disintegration.

Cantir is an undeniably beguiling performer…her languid, wordless physicality shifts registers between seduction and horror with a delicate subtlety, yet also manages to overwhelm the room with a sense of existential dread… – The List Ruxy Cantir’s Pickled Republic is witty, engaging and playful: even when she contorts her body to represent her aged nemesis, she is charming and only slightly terrifying…. More Cantir, please! – Vile Arts

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