Master and Margarita
1st - 12th October 2013
Not for Burning
A full house saw this outrageous and fantastical piece of theatre, a
joint production between Lodestar Theatre and the Unity itself. Condensed
from over ten hours to this two hour play, it was an impressive portrayal,
containing the essence of what Bulgakov had written between 1928 - 1940.
Suspension of belief, love, black magic, truth, satire, literary expression,
mental illness, greed and self-aggrandisement all feature in this subversive
It is a huge undertaking for the cast, who have to carry multiple roles
alongside their lead personas. Max Rubin, Director of Lodestar, who instigated
the project, plays the satanic Woland, who descends on Moscow one Spring
with his acolytes Koroviev (Simon Hedger) and Behemoth the Cat (Hannah
Gover), to wreak unforgiving retribution and havoc.
Running riot via a mix of magic, mayhem and murder they destabilise the
very fabric of the state and the sanctity and selfishness of its toadying,
on the make citizenry.
In this disbelieving atheistic world do they even exist?
The Master of the title is played by Joseph England, a brilliant maverick
of the literary world, who has been incarcerated in a psychiatric institution
for his novel on the crucifixion of Jeshua Ha-Nostri(Modou Bah) and the
role taken in it by Pontius Pilate (Hedger, again).
Margarita (Olivia Meanier) plays the Master's lover, and she is prepared
to go to any devilish extreme to get him back. Credit also to Jack Quarton
and Teresa O'Brien, who had more than enough costume changes themselves!
Mention has to go to the stage design and stunning use of state of the
art lighting, video technologies and use of contempory film to effortlessly
ease plot change. Not forgetting some prestidigitation skills and costume
design, which helped to bring the whole kaleidoscopic and mesmerising
spectacle to life. The Unity, under Artistic Director Graeme Phillips,
also deserves due praise.
Bulkakov's tale of comeuppance for most, and the search for peace and
redemption through the ambivalence of good and evil, would never have
seen the light of day, except for the perseverance of his own wife; she
thankfully hid the manuscript that enabled tonight to take place.