There is so much going on in this production – puppetry, music, painting, dancing, acting – I hardly know where to start. Perhaps with what was missing: there were hardly any words. Dmitry Krymov puts the emphasis on the visual in his stunning two-act work Opus No. 7which remembers the creativity and lives obliterated by the Nazi and Soviet regimes. The first work, Genealogy, traces the lives of Jewish Russians while the sister piece, Shostakovich, puts the spotlight on the composer and his repression under Stalin.

Who needs words when there are images that can teach us how to see, to really perceive? Krymov and his team of designers from the Moscow School of Dramatic Art heighten our visual awareness by constructing the images in front of our very eyes, literally from a blank canvas. After an unhurried prologue – a lament for peace – seven black-suited actors use buckets of flung black paint, staplers and string to transform the white cardboard backdrop into silhouettes. Or were they tombstones? The set is constructed with playful lateral creativity. Discarded coats come alive with arms inserted, x-rays become missing appendages, the rhythm of names turn into a blues scat.