John Hodge's new play about Joseph Stalin and Mikhail Bulgakov, the rebellious playwright the dictator sought to turn, has been such a hit at the National's Cottesloe Theatre that it is transferring to the much larger Olivier Theatre in late spring.
With a star cast, characteristically witty dialogue and powerful political and ideological themes, Hodges' play has captivated audiences and critics with the tale of the dissident writer recruited by Stalin to produce a great work about the man himself.
Collaborators is a study of the men's relationship which is distilled, ultimately, into a battle of the leader's seemingly omnipotent power and the irresistible moral defences of the artist. Will Stalin turn Bulgakov as he expects to, or will the writer resist the despot's duress and produce a satirical sideswipe at Stalin and the regime he represents? Theatregoers have paying in their thousands to find out.
Thankfully, with the run at the 300-capacity Cottesloe Theatre coming to an end in March (and all but sold out), Collaborators, starring Alex Jennings as Bulgakov and Simon Russell Beale as Stalin, moves to the 1,100-seater Olivier in (very) late April. The leads are ably supported by Mark Addy, Sarah Annis, Jacqueline Defferary and Marcus Cunningham, all contributing to a stellar line-up of players.
There are three previews, the first on 30th April, before the play officially opens on Thursday 3rd May, running until Saturday 23rd June 2012, including a number of matinée performances.
We have tickets available now, priced from £22.