Master and Margarita (Liverpool)
Master and Margarita at Liverpool's Unity Theatre is "a unique and exciting piece of drama",says Janie Philips.
Mikhail Bulgakov's epic novel is brought to life this week as Lodestar Theatre Company take on the awesome task of transferring it from page to stage.
An epic job indeed, but with their experience and clever thinking this innovative company manage to transform this complicated, dark and often macabre story into a visual, colourful delight.
The story is set in Moscow, where the Devil (Max Rubin) visits and drops in on a plethora of characters causing madness and mayhem wherever he goes and with him, his cat Behemoth (Hannah Gover) and his magician assistant Koroviev (Simon Hedger). In the centre of the chaos is the unknown author - The Master - (Joseph England) who after writing his masterpiece goes insane, and his true love, Margarita (Olivia Meguer) who never gives up on him, strikes a bargin with the Devil.
This multi-layered show incorporates almost every element of theatre. Graphics are projected onto white screens to place scenes and move the play effortlessly from one location to the next. In addition, clever use of imagery and colours are used to highlight the more gruesome side to the play, such as fire and blood.
Simple but very effective visual tricks are used, all performed by Simon Hedger. Costume and wigs help to identify the many characters in this play - originally over a hundred in the novel, rattled down to just eight actors. All are strong in their performances and each character as different and mad as the last.
Lodestar have delivered yet again a unique and exciting piece of drama that has pushed the boundaries and are a leading light in experimental theatre, always looking at new ways of developing ideas, and how to project them.
- Janie Phillips