Duration: 2 hours
First broadcast: Sunday 30 September 2012
Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01n11f2
Directed by Sir Nicholas Hytner. Alex Jennings stars as Mikhail Bulgakov and Simon Russell Beale as Stalin in the acclaimed National Theatre production.
Moscow, 1938: A dangerous place to have a sense of humour, even more so a sense of freedom. The writer Mikhail Bulgakov, living among the dissidents, stalked by secret police, has both. After 3 years rehearsal his new play about Moliere has just opened, and may be just about to close unless he accepts a commission from the secret police to write a play to celebrate Stalin's sixtieth birthday. A poison chalice which he struggles to accept, until he receives an offer of help from the most unlikely quarter.
Based on historical fact, John Hodge's blistering new play depicts a lethal game of cat and mouse as the writer loses himself in a macabre and disturbingly funny relationship with the omnipotent subject of his drama.
A huge success at the National Theatre, Collaborators transferred from the Cottesloe to the Olivier to extend its run by public demand.
John Hodge's other credits include the film Shallow Grave, and screen adaptations of Trainspotting and The Beach.
An original stage play by John Hodge. Adapted for radio by John Hodge and
MIKHAIL BULGAKOV Alex Jennings
YELENA: his wife Jacqueline Defferary
VASILLY an ex-aristocrat Patrick Godfrey
PRASKOVYA: a teacher Maggie Service
SERGEI: a young man Pierce Reid
GRIGORY: a young writer William Postlethwaite
ANNA: an actress Jess Murphy
VLADIMIR: an NKVD OFFICER Lloyd Hutchinson..
STEPAN: an NKVD OFFICER Marcus Cunningham
DOCTOR Nick Sampson
MOLIERE / ACTOR1 Michael Jenn
LAGRANGE / ACTOR Peri Snowdon
EVA Sarah Annis
JOSEPH STALIN: a dictator Simon Russell Beale
Music by George Fenton
Directed for the National Theatre stage by Sir Nicholas Hytner
Radio adaptation directed by Nadia Fall
Technical Presentation Nick Taylor and David Fleming Williams
Produced by Chris Wallis