Thursday, 9 February 2012

Complicite McBurney Barbican Bulgakov

Anyone who liked Complicite's staging of A Dog's Heart at the ENO might like their latest theatre adventure, this time at the Barbican. Like A Dog's Heart, the drama is based on a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. This time it's his magnum opus, The Master and Margarita. 

The Master and Margarita is a huge, sprawling panorama where time, place and genre keep swapping. One moment we're in the Soviet Union in black and white. Next moment, the screen turns technicolour and we're at a trial in the Middle East where the criminal is Jesus. A mysterious stranger appears. He seems so reasonable. But is he the Devil? He presents as nice old gent,  as a master of ceremonies, the compere of a mad circus and demented fashion show.  Animals and apparitions appear. Then he meets Margarita, a woman so wild even he's flummoxed. For a while.

If anyone's going to be able to stage this within a few hours it's Complicite.  The novel is so off the wall it will be fun to see how they digest it. The show starts 15th March and runs til 7th April. Booking details HERE. Read the novel (it's loooong) or see the Russian TV series. But don't be too literal. This isn't the kind of world where anything is quite what it seems.

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