The Master and Margarita

Simon McBurney & Complicite

The Master and Margarita

A man travels from Moscow to Yalta at the speed of light. A writer burns his novel. A woman goes to hell and back to save her lover. All the while, Pontius Pilate argues with Jesus about the nature of human worth. The enigmas that bind Bulgakov's violent, poetic maelstrom of a novel are one reason it is hailed as a masterpiece of Russian literature, remaining timeless and vital to this day. 3.6 out of 5 based on 10 reviews
The Master and Margarita

Omniscore:

Location London
Venue Barbican Centre
Director Simon McBurney
Cast David Annen, Thomas Arnold, Josie Daxter, Johannes Flaschberger, Tamzin Griffin, Amanda Hadingue, Richard Katz, Sinéad Matthews, Tim McMullan, Clive Mendus, Yasuyo Mochizuki, Ajay Naidu, Henry Pettigrew, Paul Rhys, Cesar Sarachu, Angus Wright
From March 2012
Until April 2012
Box Office 020 7638 8891
 

A man travels from Moscow to Yalta at the speed of light. A writer burns his novel. A woman goes to hell and back to save her lover. All the while, Pontius Pilate argues with Jesus about the nature of human worth. The enigmas that bind Bulgakov's violent, poetic maelstrom of a novel are one reason it is hailed as a masterpiece of Russian literature, remaining timeless and vital to this day.

Reviews

The Evening Standard

Henry Hitchings

McBurney’s interpretation makes a virtue of its source’s startling tonal shifts. Even if it’s now and then hard to be completely sure of what is going on, the production gets right inside one’s head.

22/03/2012

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The Daily Express

Julie Carpenter

Spare a thought for Sinead Matthews, the actress who spends a chunk of this three-and-a-quarter-hour show wearing only blue paint.

23/03/2012

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The Stage

Mark Shenton

Expertly controlling the show’s own destiny, of course, is the God-like figure of McBurney himself, who lends it his own combination of highly stylised audacity and startling technical confidence, as he integrates puppetry and live action film to tell this layered, fractured story.

22/03/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Charles Spencer

A constantly daring and ambitious staging of an enthrallingly original literary masterpiece, and makes a fascinating companion piece to the National Theatre’s Collaborators.

22/03/2012

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The Times

Libby Purves

The second act — and third hour — is extraordinary, apocalyptic ... Suddenly, through all the chaos, Bulgakov’s vision clarifies: not only a vision of love but of the greater quality, Mercy itself. And maybe it is all a dying man’s dream, right to the moonlit freeing of Pilate. But that Bulgakov, silenced in Stalin’s shadow, saw it thus is the wonder, and our smaller wonder that Complicité should make it sing.

22/03/2012

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Time Out

Caroline McGinn

Complicite's adaptation is a collage of horror and delight, played out at odd angles over multiple flickering planes. It captures the absurd wit, the philosophy and the sheer spectacular thrill of Bulgakov's novel. But it lacks tenderness - even though the eponymous lovers, a tortured writer and his muse, are foregrounded from the start.

22/03/2012

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The Observer

Kate Kellaway

Cowardice is the only sin, Bulgakov proposes – in which case, everyone in this phenomenal production should have free entry into heaven.

25/03/2012

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The Financial Times

Ian Shuttleworth

McBurney does not do chaos. What he does instead is complexity, which, when taken to a sufficient degree, may sometimes look like disorder but never really smells like it.

23/03/2012

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The Guardian

Michael Billington

A production that becomes an insatiably restless kaleidoscope in which stillness is never achieved for more than a few seconds. Some of the effects pulled off by the designer, Es Devlin, and by Luke Halls's 3D animation are superb ... However, there is something odd about a show that puts its faith in the human being in a hi-tech age, yet relies so heavily on sensory bombardment by visual wizardry.

22/03/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

The Independent on Sunday

Bulgakov's novel is like a vast, labyrinthine dream. I get the feeling McBurney is still grappling with this leviathan, trying not to crush it. Work in progress.

25/03/2012

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