Collaborators, By John Hodge

Episodes

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20120930

2012093020150222 (R3)

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 Chris Wallis

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

First broadcast 30/09/2012.