Runs 3 - 18 October 2014
Moscow 1938. A dangerous place to have a sense of humour, even more so a sense of freedom....
Stirling Theatre audiences will see why when John Hodge’s darkly comic drama, COLLABORATORS, opens on October 3. It’s another Australian premiere production from The Stirling Players’ with Megan Dansie directing.
Playwright, Mikhail Bulgakov is living with dissidents and being stalked by the secret police when they come knocking on his door one day. But it’s not to arrest him - they’ve been sent to engage his services to write a play to celebrate Josef Stalin’s 60th birthday!
Inspired by history, COLLABORATORS embarks on a surreal journey in which the writer loses himself in a macabre, and disturbingly funny, relationship with his omnipotent subject. As Stalin takes over writing the play, Bulgakov finds himself getting on with the business of running the country, even deciding who is to be shot!
Asked why she chose to direct COLLABORATORS, Megan says, “Who could resist a comedy starring Stalin? I love a black comedy, and this certainly is one. But more than that, it is a genuine exploration of the difficulties of maintaining artistic and personal integrity in a dictatorship”.
It’s easy to see where Hodge’s idea for the paradoxical relationship between the artist and dictator came from. In real life, Bulgakov’s work was regularly censored or banned, but his play, White Guard,
was a one of Stalin’s favourites. He saw it some 15 times, despite its sympathetic depiction of characters opposed to Bolshevism! White Guard, incidentally, was adapted by Andrew Upton and produced by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2012.
COLLABORATORS premiered at London’s National Theatre in 2011 and went on to win the 2012 Olivier Award for Best New Play (in competition with One Man, Two Guvnors). Megan adds, “I am proud to be directing such a great cast in this Australian premiere”.
This production is Stirling Players' second Australian premiere in two years and sixth South Australian premiere in a row, further strengthening our reputation for staging new and challenging plays.
London’s Daily Telegraph said COLLABORATORS “thrills, chills and makes you laugh out loud - even though you know you shouldn't”. The Players look forward to their production affecting audiences in the same way.
Performances: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 & 18 October 2014 at 8pm 5 & 12 October 2014 at 4pm. Click here for tickets ....
Contains some violence/coarse language
Peter Davies - Joseph Stalin - Russian dictator
Gary George - Mikhail Bulgakov - Dissident playwright
Sharon Malujlo - Yelena, Bulgakov’s wife
Philip Lineton -Vassily - Ex aristocrat, boarder with Bulgakov
Matt Houston - Sergei - A boarder with Bulgakov
Miriam Keane - Praskovya -Teacher and boarder with Bulgakov
Alex Antoniou - Grigory - A young writer
Steve Marvanek - Vladimir, an NKVD officer
Lauren Scarfe - Eva - Vladimir’s wife
Angela Short - Anna, an actress
David Lockwood - A doctor
Brendan Clare - Stepan
Sam Rogers - Actor 1
Joshua Coldwell - Actor 2