GREC – “The Master and Margarita”: Impressive

A brief intimate moment before hell breaks loose

A brief intimate moment before hell breaks loose

Simon McBurney’s ambitious production of Bulgakov’s novel “The Master and Margarita” gathered enthusiastic reviews in a few European countries before landing on stage in Barcelona’s Teatre Lliure. This complex, supposedly unstageable story that seems to deal with just about anything – from compassion to censorship in Stalinist Moscow, from the illusion of reality to Mr. Devil himself – has been turned into a dazzling display of the power of contemporary theatre, with a little help (so to speak) from technology. I am glad I had the chance to see this production, which I found impressive and certainly interesting, albeit not especially involving. The story is so good that, in my opinion, it would have benefitted from a bit fewer special effects and a clearer focus on the human side: most of the time my focus was on the sophisticated direction, rather than the deep truths that Bulgakov aimed to convey. Having said that, chapeau to McBurney for his vision, boldness, relevance and creativity, and congratulations to the cast and crew.

UPS Score (Utmost Perfection Scale): 7/8 out of 10.


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