New adaptation of a classic Soviet satire, The Master and Margarita, at the Barbican

Complicite / Simon McBurney

The Master and Margarita
Adapted from the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov

15 March 2012 – 7 April 2012 / 19:15, 14:00
Barbican Theatre

Simon McBurney's internationally renowned theatre company, Complicite, plays at the Barbican in March with a new adaptation of a classic Soviet satire, The Master and Margarita, following the success of Shun-kin and A Disappearing Number.

The Master and Margarita

"A man travels from Moscow to Yalta at the speed of light. A writer burns his novel. A woman goes to hell and back to save her lover. All the while, Pontius Pilate argues with Jesus about the nature of human worth" – Synopsis.

A retelling of Mikhail Bulgakov’s fantastical tale of Satan’s reckoning with 1930s Russia, The Master and Margarita is both a satirical romp and a daring analysis of good and evil, innocence and guilt. The enigmas that bind Bulgakov's violent, poetic maelstrom of a novel are one reason it is hailed as a masterpiece of Russian literature, remaining timeless and vital to this day.


Cast includes David Annen, Thomas Arnold, Josie Daxter, Johannes Flaschberger, Tamzin Griffin, Amanda Hadingue, Richard Katz, Sinéad Matthews, Clive Mendus, Yasuyo Mochizuki, Ajay Naidu, Henry Pettigrew, Paul Rhys, Cesar Sarachu and Angus Wright

Co-produced by Complicite, the Barbican London, Les Théâtres de la Ville Luxembourg, Wiener Festwochen, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen and Festival d’Avignon in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth


Founded in 1983 by Simon McBurney, who is the current Artistic Director, Annabel Arden and Marcello Magni, in recent years, Complicite has created some of the most inspiring and original theatre to come out of the UK.

‘What is Complicite?’ ‘It is,’ I replied, ‘the reason I go to the theatre.’ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

‘There’s nobody more likely to make theatrical magic out of the obscure and improbable than Simon McBurney.’ Benedict Nightingale, The Times

Complicite has won over 50 major theatre awards for its work.

A Disappearing Number was seen in Europe, the USA and India and was winner of the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, the 2007 Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best New Play and the 2007 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play.

In 2008 Simon McBurney was awarded the Berlin Academy of Arts Konrad Wolf Prize for Europe’s Outstanding Multi-Disciplinary Artists and in 2009 he was the first non-Japanese director to be awarded the Yomiuri Theatre Award Grand Prize for Best Director for the Company's production of Shun-kin, based on the writings of Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, originally created in Tokyo and recently seen in London, Paris and Taipei. In 2005 he was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama.

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