A WRITER finds himself in a difficult position in Collaborators at Leamington’s Loft Thetare.
Moscow in 1938 is a dangerous place to have a sense of humour and, even more so, a sense of freedom. Writer Mikhail Bulgakov, living among dissidents and stalked by the secret police, has both.
And then he is offered a poisoned chalice – a commission to write a play about Joseph Stalin to celebrate the Dictator’s sixtieth birthday.
Inspired by historical fact, John Hodge – best known for his screenplays for film director Danny Boyle, including Trainspotting, Shallow Grave and The Beach – has taken a handful of facts and created an play that includes among its cast a cheerful secret policeman, a doctor more interested in sex than medical treatment, an anxious wife, and a group of actors rehearsing a play about revolution.
The darkly menacing comic drama, with its themes of suppression of free expression and the affect that living under the rule of tyranny has on the daily lives of ordinary people, was Hodges’ first stage play and won the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Play.
Directed by Gordon Vallins, the main protagonists are played by Phil Reynolds (Mikhail Bulgakov) and Craig Shelton (Stalin).
Gordon said: “Collaborators is gripping like a thriller – laughter-making because it is comic, and unsettling because we fear for the lives of its characters and wonder what we might do in a similar situation.”
Collaborators runs from February 14 to 21.
Visit www.loft-theatre.co.uk for tickets and further details.