Tuesday, 3 April 2012

THE MASTER AND MARGARITA BY BULGAKOV

I have had a deeply Russian experience I met up with an old friend called Sergei who calls me a Witch.  I once told him in 1986 that Cold War would finish and Russia would no longer be Communist and he said it was impossible. Today he was teasing me, saying that he wasn't sure I could stay still for the whole evening. I again proved him wrong.
Theatre rarely moves me and makes me sit on the edge of my seat, especially if it is three hours long. I usually can think of a million other things I wish to do. Tonight was a totally different experience, there are plenty of good plays with wonderful performances but Complicite's, the thirty years old production company, has worked wonders with The Master and Margarita, the masterpiece by Bulgakov, at the Barbican surpassed all expectations. Based on his novel this is a wonderful surrealistic love story intertwined with the Biblical fable spins out of control under the brilliant direction by Simon McBurney. Bulgakov called it his Sunset Novel, it was kept hidden under Stalinism, and not brought properly to light until 1966.  This is a confusing and touching novel turned play, of love, death and truth. Beautifully presented storming the brain.  You are in a whirlwind of  delicious torture from start to finnish. Even more bizarre the unintentional casting of Margarite to look almost exactly like Isabella Blow, who committed suicide, added to the drama for me. The actress looked like her, she sounded the same and even wore similar clothes,  Was that deliberate? I am totally sure it was not, but it stirred my soul.  Just about the most perfect evening. My friend Sergei is a genius to have taken me to it.. I shall love him forever.

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