Director: Maggie May


Thursday 25th August 2016 at 8pm

Tuesday 30th August 2016 at 8pm


To be announced


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.


This might appear to be a rather serious and heavy play – an author, who has his brilliant work suppressed by the Stalinist regime. Creativity itself, throttled if it so much hinted of dissidence. John Hodge has, however, produced a brilliant black comedy and every line should be delivered with a whiff of tongue-in-cheek or surreality. We need a slightly wicked sense of humour on delivery. A serious subject…yes…but the audience should leave light-hearted, almost finding Stalin rather endearing!


Stalin /Bulgakov Page 36 – 38, Page 50 – 53, Page 60 – 62 and Page 94 – 97

Yelena / Bulgakov Page 4-5

Yelena/Doctor/Bulgakov/Vasilly / Grigory/Anna Page 8 – 13, Page 23 – 25

Doctor/Bulgakov Page 26 – 28

Vladimir / Bulgakov Pae 17 – 21, Page 31 – 33

Grigory Page 24 25, page 54-57, Page 69 – 70

Vasilly / Praskovya Page 5 – 7

Vasilly Page 48-49

Several small parts also to be filled!

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