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Du Goudron et des Plumes Photo ©

Christophe Raynaud de Lage

upon which it was originally based. “Calendar Girls” is followed by Alan Ayckbourn’s “House and Garden” in October and “How To Succeed in Business” in November. These are interspersed with visits from the Guildhall School with “Toast” by Richard Bean (author of “One Man, Two Guv’nors”).

successful dramatist until 1929 when Stalin declared his work anti-Soviet and his plays were banned. He devoted much of the remainder of his life to writing the extraordinary novel “The Master and Margarita”. After his death (at just 48) in 1940, the manuscript remained hidden until 1966 when it was published and became a cult work. In 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, one book in ten published there was by Bulgakov who became the most popular Russian writer of the 20th Century.

One of the few episodes in the play which is based on a real historical event is the fantastical demonic ball when Margarita strips naked and rubs in the magic cream which enables her to fly on her broomstick

to attend the ball. This was all based on a spring ball held by the American Ambassador in Moscow in April 1935.

The Complicité company is led by its Artistic Director, Simon McBurney, and has toured world- wide since 1982 including a visit to De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam with “A Dog’s Heart”, based on a story by Mikhail Bulgakov. The Autumn season at the Bridewell Theatre will be launched with “Calendar Girls” from September 18th, produced by Tower Theatre Company. This is one of over four hundred licensed productions (by amateur companies within the next twelve months) of this phenomenally popular stage play which has now taken more money than the film

In March the Guildhall School of Music and Drama presented the David Edgar adaptation of “Nicholas Nickelby Part One” and there is now a welcome chance to see Part Two, which opens on 23 November at the Silk Street Theatre . This comic masterpiece once again reminds us that Charles Dickens was one of our most theatrical of novelists. Continuing the Barbican’s presentation of theatre from around the world will be a visit from Compagnie MPTA with “Du Goudron et des Plumes” in November in the main house. This proved last year to be one of the most brilliant circus creations which delighted children particularly with its thrilling acrobatics, bewitching lighting, music and an ingenious set. This performance of great beauty and heart-stopping tension will no doubt repeat its previous spectacular success.

This will be followed by “Unleashed” in the Barbican Theatre which harnesses the dreams and aspirations of young East London artists in a high-energy urban explosion. Finally, the Pit will house Hugh Hughes in “Stories from an Invisible Town” at the end of November which is largely improvised in an unpredictable and hilarious evening when no two performances are the same. This is followed by “59 Minutes to Save Christmas” running through December and January when theatre company Slung Low will combine film and theatre with wistfulness and wit in an interactive journey around the Barbican Centre when you have 59 minutes to save Christmas! Children might find their parents are brave enough to come along also! I wish you an inspiring Autumn of theatregoing at the Barbican, whilst looking forward also to the exciting opening of the two new Barbican cinemas.


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