The Fantastic Life of Minnie Rubinski

Immersive Exhibition Theatre
Performance Dates

World Premiere –  Manipulate Festival, Fruitmarket, Edinburgh, 9-12 February 2023

Fossekleiva Kultursenter, Norway, 17 June-6 August 2023

Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 14-27 August 2023

Walkthrough of the production at Vision Mechanics’ workshop space

The Fantastic Life of Minnie Rubinski

Minnie Rubinski, now in her eighties and living in a care home, looks back on her fantastic life. But what is real and what is fantasy – and does it really matter?

The Fantastic Life of Minnie Rubinski is exhibition theatre.  Audiences enter a giant brain, hear Minnie’s fragmented thoughts and follow pulsing synapses to where her memories are stored.

Her recollections from childhood to the present day are recounted through filmed vignettes with characters played by a cast of beautifully carved marionettes, placed in perfectly detailed period sets, with audience members invited to piece together Minnie’s remarkable life story.

It is a deeply meaningful piece created during the pandemic and inspired by Kim Bergsagel’s (Creative Director) experience of her mother’s rapid onset of dementia. Adapted from fragments of phone calls and family anecdotes, this story is funny, sad and at times, nonsensical.

6 audience members (maximum) enter every 30 minutes

Please allow at least 45 minutes to experience the production

Recommended for age 14+


The Scotsman ***** “…it’s perhaps the rich detail of that real-life origin that makes The Fantastic Life Of Minnie Rubinski such an outstanding piece of work; full of love for an astonishing woman, and profound recognition of all that this generation of elders have known and been, in their long lifetimes.”

Full Review

Bouquets & Brickbats 4.4 STARS  “…The characters are puppets, moving around custom-built sets, which are presented in intricate detail – check out the sequence in a 1950s supermarket and take a close look at the hundreds of items ranged on the shelves. The attention to detail is astonishing!” 

Full Review

Corr Blimey *****   “A journalist, mother, gallery owner, wife, writer, child, and saviour of the world from giant reptiles – there’s a lot to take in during The Fantastic Life of Minnie Rubinski, which translates the words and thoughts of one woman’s life, now living with dementia, and turn these glinting pieces of their personality into a scale-filmed legacy, utilising puppetry to craft an often surreal, though occasional mundane and domestic, world for audiences to walk-through….”

Full Review

Radio Summerhall Arts “Edinburgh based Vision Mechanics, Symon Macintyre and Kim Bergsagel, have married their not inconsiderable imaginative powers with yet another style in their latest work, The Fantastic Life of Minnie Rubinski…..”

Full Review

EU Contemporary Puppetry Critical Platform  “Moving, attentive to detail and a spectacular display of a concentrated artistic vision, it is simultaneously an epic and intimate triumph.”

Full Review



“It was the most exquisite and beautiful representation of a colourful life and memories.”

“I  loved the gradual realization of what was happening .and the story coming together.”

“It was a poignant and beautiful experience. Full of tenderness and sadness and also a joyously playful exploration of a life richly lived. The form so cleverly suited the content. The sets and puppets were beautifully made. I hope I can revisit one day.”

“I loved the detail in each scenario, the intimacy of the scenes, the way relationships between characters felt so real – tension, eroticism, longing, passion – and the way my whole experience of Minnie’s life grew in layers as I watched and listened. And the music was fantastic throughout!”

“I can’t begin to tell you how thought provoking – and emotionally evocative – this piece is! What a technical feat and a triumph of artfully applied tenderness and care.”

“This is an amazingly evocative show which gives a glimpse into the power of memories – and the feelings they carry with them. Especially love, excitement, longing and regret.”

“Beautifully crafted sets were captivating, clever mix of marionettes and animation with mood setting music was very engaging. The whole concept was well conceived and brought together in a wonderfully immersive and at times poignant experience.”


Touring Inquiries

Programmers interested in booking The Fantastic Life of Minnie Rubinski, please contact Symon Macintyre,  or Anne Fleming,

Technical Requirements

– A space of at least 8 x 7 meters
– Access to four power points
– The Company can bring all the technical equipment necessary for the production
– Get-in time is 8 hours
– Get-out time is 5 hours
– The Company has a team of 3 travelling with the production
– The Company will require the assistance of one venue technician for the get-in and the get-

Team Credits

Creative Directors
Kim Bergsagel
Symon Macintyre

Eszter Marsalko
Kim Bergsagel
Symon Macintyre

Music Score
Ewan Macintyre

Ewan Macintyre: Guitars, Percussion, Bass, Mandolin, Keys, Sound FX
Gabrielle Richard: Violin
Karine Bouchard: Cello
Simon Babin Bouchard: Trumpet
Nathan Bissonnette: Saxophone
Arthur Smith: Drumkit, Bass, Guitar
Antoine Larocque: Keys, Accordion

Sets and Costumes
Ingrid Scholes

Sets and Props
Alice Knight

Kim Bergsagel
Jessica Innes
Helen Belbin

Design Assistants  
Tom Watton
Daniel Tysen
Mandy Fitzsimmons
Annie Linfitt
Natacha Lee

Scenic Painter  
Eve Murray

Filming and Editing  
Symon Macintyre
Eszter Marsalko
Marionette Carving
Kim Bergsagel

Minnie’s Voice
Lois Markle

Vision Mechanics Administration
Susan Wilson
Anne Fleming


The Fantastic Life of Minnie Rubinski has been made possible through the generous support of Creative Scotland’s Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development.

When creating The Fantastic Life of Minnie Rubinski Vision Mechanics was able to offer three month long paid traineeships in marionette puppetry, set design, making and filming, to 4 emerging artists. This initiative was kindly supported by

The William Syson Foundation
The Golsoncott Foundation
The Leche Trust
Hugh Fraser Foundation