Max, who is taking part in our Arts Training Scheme, reviews Ronin Theatre’s Collaborators, which was here in October 2018.

From the first scene, I knew I was going to enjoy this encounter with Stalin’s Soviet Russia. The players performed their parts with genuine and convincing aptitude, something that no doubt had to be second nature in 1930’s Russia. The set although simple worked, again a nod to the historical context.

It is quite unusual (to me anyway) for a dissident writer Mikhail Bulgakov, to be asked to write a play for the all-powerful Joseph Stalin to celebrate his birthday, but this he does, sort of. The consequences of Mikhail’s collusion in writing the tale of Young Joseph are at times very funny, witty and sharp throughout and holds a message of what can happen if you lose a sense of personal morals and values.

The performance was very engaging and with the limited visuals is a huge credit to the performers both on stage and behind the scenes. I left with a poignant concern for Mikhail and his friends under the totalitarian state and a sense of how I respond to difficult situations and the importance of those conditions.