The Master and Margarita (Mistrz i Malgorzata)

Manuscripts do not burn" - no doubt the most famous statement in 20th century Russian literature - was made by the devil. The statement comes from another world, offering more than a simple hope, but a form of serenely irrational faith, the certainty that something in the creation of a work of art can stand up to all the forces of destruction in this world, that a certain truth, or perhaps a spiritual order, could remain indomitably immune to the effects of any and every attempt to eliminate or stifle it, even surviving the doubts and weaknesses of the Master bearing the truth. This extravagant aphorism attributed to a man who dared write to Stalin saying "I am a mystical writer", is found in a novel which was destined to cross the path of Krystian Lupa. For years now the Polish stage director has been addressing the novel form as a major form for expressing a crisis still assailing our age. Examples can be seen with his productions based on the The Man without Qualities, The Brothers Karamazov, Sleepwalkers and Extinction; the last three were acclaimed at the Odéon theatre, attracting ever larger audiences fascinated by the aspirations and demands of his vision. The Master and Margarita is a natural addition to the series; it has been adapted for thirty-six actors from the Stary Teatr company and is presented with a few simple props set on a stage which itself is subtly without boundaries. But there is more: the corpus of works chosen by Lupa has Bulgakov's masterpiece at the centre as the text most closely linked to the art of the theatre. Here is the last margin of freedom for a man of the theatre whose career and work were destroyed by Stalin's dictatorship and who embraced the universe of the novel to use it freely as a stage, scaling it to his imagination, the only stage which could save his writing from being shipwrecked in the chaos of his time. The Master and Margarita should not, however, be seen merely as the laboratory for an artist who had been deprived of an audience, for this dream-like or carnival-like fable is also an introspective study and the ending is far from triumphant. What hope is there for a world where poets burn their words and where the devil has to intervene to save them?


France
September 27 2003 to October 05 2003

The Master and Margarita (Mistrz i Malgorzata)

Lupa Krystian

In polish with french surtitles

Prices

More info
  • The Master and Margarita (Mistrz i Malgorzata) | © photo Marek Gardulski
    © photo Marek Gardulski
  • The Master and Margarita (Mistrz i Malgorzata) | © photo Enguerand
    © photo Enguerand
  • The Master and Margarita (Mistrz i Malgorzata) | © photo Marek Gardulski
    © photo Marek Gardulski
  • The Master and Margarita (Mistrz i Malgorzata) | © D.R.
    © D.R.

Manuscripts do not burn" - no doubt the most famous statement in 20th century Russian literature - was made by the devil. The statement comes from another world, offering more than a simple hope, but a form of serenely irrational faith, the certainty that something in the creation of a work of art can stand up to all the forces of destruction in this world, that a certain truth, or perhaps a spiritual order, could remain indomitably immune to the effects of any and every attempt to eliminate or stifle it, even surviving the doubts and weaknesses of the Master bearing the truth. This extravagant aphorism attributed to a man who dared write to Stalin saying "I am a mystical writer", is found in a novel which was destined to cross the path of Krystian Lupa. For years now the Polish stage director has been addressing the novel form as a major form for expressing a crisis still assailing our age. Examples can be seen with his productions based on the The Man without Qualities, The Brothers Karamazov, Sleepwalkers and Extinction; the last three were acclaimed at the Odéon theatre, attracting ever larger audiences fascinated by the aspirations and demands of his vision. The Master and Margarita is a natural addition to the series; it has been adapted for thirty-six actors from the Stary Teatr company and is presented with a few simple props set on a stage which itself is subtly without boundaries. But there is more: the corpus of works chosen by Lupa has Bulgakov's masterpiece at the centre as the text most closely linked to the art of the theatre. Here is the last margin of freedom for a man of the theatre whose career and work were destroyed by Stalin's dictatorship and who embraced the universe of the novel to use it freely as a stage, scaling it to his imagination, the only stage which could save his writing from being shipwrecked in the chaos of his time. The Master and Margarita should not, however, be seen merely as the laboratory for an artist who had been deprived of an audience, for this dream-like or carnival-like fable is also an introspective study and the ending is far from triumphant. What hope is there for a world where poets burn their words and where the devil has to intervene to save them?

Credits

by MIKHAÏL BOULGAKOV
adaptation, apocryphs, direction and scénography : KRYSTIAN LUPA
translation from Polish : Irena Lewandowska, Witold Dabrowski
music : Jacek Ostaszewski, Jakub Ostaszewski
with the Stary Teatr de Cracovie troup

production : Narodowy Stary Teatr Cracovie

Director

Krystian Lupa Krystian

Krystian Lupa est né en 1943 à Jastrzebie Zdroj en Pologne. De 1963 à 1969, il suit des cours de peinture, puis d'art graphique à l'Académie des Beaux-Arts de Cracovie, dont il sort avec un diplôme en arts graphiques. Après des études de cinéma qu'il n'achève pas, il se forme pendant quatre ans à la mise en scène au Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique de Cracovie, où il obtient son diplôme en 1978.
Il commence alors sa carrière au Teatr Norwida de Jelenia Gora, tout en dirigeant quelques productions au Stary Teatr de Cracovie (notamment Yvonne, Princesse de Bourgogne, de Gombrowicz, en 1978). Son travail à Jelenia Gora présente un caractère expérimental très marqué. Dans un texte intitulé «Le théâtre de la révélation» Krystian Lupa expose sa conception du théâtre comme instrument d'exploration et de transgression des frontières de l'individualité. En 1986 il quitte définitivement Jelenia Gora pour le Stary Teatr de Cracovie dont il devient le metteur en scène attitré. Son arrivée à Cracovie coïncide avec un tournant de sa recherche. Il s'intéresse davantage aux questions éthiques, et la plupart de ses mises en scène puisent leur matière dans la littérature russe ou autrichienne.

Il a monté ou adapté pour la scène des auteurs tels que Musil (Esquisses de l'homme sans qualité, 1990), Dostoïevski (Les Frères Karamazov, 1990, reprise à l'Odéon en janvier 2000), Rilke (Malte ou le triptyque de l'enfant prodigue, 1991), Thomas Bernhard (La Plâtrière,1992 et Extinction), Tchekhov (Platonov; 1996), Hermann Broch (Les Somnambules), Werner Schwab (Les Présidentes, au Teatr Polski à Wroclaw en 1999). Depuis 1983, Krystian Lupa enseigne au Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique de Cracovie, où il est doyen de la faculté de mise en scène. De nombreux prix ont distingué son travail. Pour les Somnambules, il a obtenu le XXXVIème Grand Prix de la Critique dramatique et musicale pour le meilleur spectacle étranger.
Il a créé Le Maître et Marguerite d'après M. Boulgakov à Cracovie en 2002. En 2006, il crée Zaratustra d'après Friedrich Nietzsche et Einar Schleef.

A l'Odéon :
- Les Somnambules d'après Hermann Broch, 1998
- Les Frères Karamazov de Dostoïevski, 2000
- Auslöschung / Extinction d'après Thomas Bernhard, 2002
- Le Maître et Marguerite, de Boulgakov, 2003
- Rodzenstwo : Ritter, Dene, Voss (Déjeuner chez Wittgenstein) de Thomas Bernhard, 2004
- Zaratustra, d'après Nietzsche et Einar Shleef, 2007

Excerpt