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THE MASTER AND MARGARITA

A Messenger Has Arrived

Roman Pawlowski / Gazeta Wyborcza

2000-07-22

“The greatest discovery of the THEOREM program – Oskaras Korsunovas’ performance after “The Master and Margarita” by Bulgakov – does not have anything in common with European politics. The Lithuanian director, 31, well known in Poland for his dramatizations of the Oberiuts, staged Bulgakov’s novel as a dream of patients of a mental asylum. They dream of Satan’s visits to Moscow and events that happened in Jerusalem two thousand years ago. The action is set on the stage reminiscent of an old community centre hall with a piano, an obligatory palm and a cleaning lady who washes the floor and grumbles at the actors. The genius of the dramatization is based on the simplicity of the concept: Behemoth walks barefoot and sprinkles water around, the Master is buried under the ashes of his own manuscript, while Margarita’s flight turns into a love act. The performance contains a lot of burlesque means – e.g. the feast directed according to the principles of shadow theatre; however, the overall tonality of the performance is dark. At the end of the performance the Master and Margarita die and do not return to life between the Paradise and Hell, like Bulgakov conceived it. There is no house surrounded with trees, with fire cracking in the fireplace. Azazello, sipping vodka, completes the last ritual of ablution and ties the stiffening jaws together. Kor�unovas knows more than Bulgakov who died 70 years ago. Perhaps manuscripts don’t burn, but people’s bodies burn like safety matches.”
Roman Pawlowski. A Messenger Has Arrived // Gazeta Wyborcza, 22. 07. 2000