by John Hodge
Directed by Maggie May
Monday 27th February 2017 – Saturday 4th March 2017
Collaborators is a dark, clever and razor-sharp comedy, portrayed by a large cast of theatrical, surreal characters. A brilliant piece of total theatre which is not to be missed!
It is Moscow in 1938. A dangerous place to have a sense of humour, even more so a sense of freedom. Mikhail Bulgakov, living among dissidents, stalked by secret police, has both. And then he’s offered a poisoned chalice: a commission to write a play about Stalin to celebrate his 60th birthday. It would be a means to get his recently finished play performed rather than censored and put on the scrapheap. The premise is based on fact but Hodge drifts off into fantasy as he imagines Stalin secretly meeting with the playwright to help out. He even has the pair switch roles – Stalin writes his own play while Bulgakov signs off the leader’s political diktats, including instigating his infamous purges.
Presented at the National Theatre in 2011 with Alex Jennings and Simon Russell Beale, the play received 4 star reviews from the Telegraph “This is a truly tremendous double act which thrills chills and makes you laugh out loud – even though you know you shouldn’t.”