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From 13 critic and 0 member reviews

About the show

The Storm Theatre Company presents a surreal journey into the imagination of the writer as mentally wrestles with the omnipotent subject of his drama; winner of the Olivier award for Best Play. More…

Moscow, 1938. A dangerous place to have a sense of humour; even more so a sense of freedom. Mikhail Bulgakov, living among dissidents, stalked by secret police, has both. And then he’s offered a poisoned chalice: a commission to write a play about Stalin to celebrate his sixtieth birthday.

LA Splash

"The collaborators in this hilarious, terrifying and brilliant black comedy are Mikhail Bulgakov, the impoverished black-listed Soviet writer, and Josef Stalin...Credit goes to the insightful, inventive, most savvy director, Peter Dobbins. There is not a superfluous word in the script. All of the characters are tightly etched. I cannot imagine how the British cast could have been better...This is a main-stem quality play." Full Review


"Played with honesty and acidic comedy in rapid, scintillating scenes by a top-notch cast under Peter Dobbins’s artfully economical direction, the North American premiere shows why 'Collaborators' won its plaudits across the pond…It also has a diverting structure that keeps the audience on its toes…Aside from a somewhat foggy ending, both the play and the production sustain their grip throughout." Full Review

What's On Off Broadway

"'Collaborators' is great. It is well worth the trek down to the Lower East Side. It is a surprise of a show...Playwright John Hodge uses short hand tricks to take us quickly into this world; but once he has sold us this scenario, he quietly upends our expectations...Experience 'Collaborators' and you’ll find a wonderful show." Full Review

NY Theatre Guide

"It all sounds frightfully heavy-going, but there are genuine laughs in the show...However, the grim side of Soviet life is the main course of the play...The Storm Theatre has found a gem everyone else in New York theatre missed, and one can only hope the company finds a way to continue this show beyond its closing date." Full Review

Off Off Online

"John Hodge’s play is a witty seriocomic political satire that tickles your funny bone and sends shivers down your spine at the same time. His comedy is the type to slap you in the face and leave a sting. He takes truthful facts and spins them into lines that will have you laughing in 10 seconds flat...If you’re a fan of political satire, you will defiantly love this show." Full Review


"A mordantly satiric tragicomedy... A sharp, clever look at a genius under a totalitarian regime, brilliantly acted by a large cast of character actors...However, the style of the performance is a little too literal for its surrealistic carnival-type atmosphere, the colorful cast of characters as well as the seemingly caustic satire of life in Soviet which is mostly historic...That the 12 actors play 25 roles and keep them very much differentiated is a credit to both director and cast." Full Review


"Ultimately, 'Collaborators' accomplishes what it sets out to do, providing an amusing, absurd snapshot into the lives of the haves and have-nots of the USSR until the true hidden horror of the piece hits you...While secondary plots such as Mikhail's relationship with his roommates and his wife Yelena or his spontaneously appearing and disappearing illness do not reach their full potential, the play is certainly an unforgettable experience." Full Review

Theater In The Now

"'Collaborators' is an evocative look at the stronghold of tyranny through the lens of art...This production is luckily carried by Hodge's intriguing story and rich characters. When it comes to execution, Storm Theatre Company's production doesn't quite reach its full potential. 'Collaborators' wants to be much grander than it is...Storm Theatre Company went the simple route with the production. And it didn’t quite suit the play." Full Review

Front Row Center

"As they race through short scenes that are meant to overlap but do not, they have little opportunity to make more than an impression of a character in each vignette. The performances are uneven, but they do all find moments in which to shine...Act I is too long, and pace feels frenetic even as the story begins to drag." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"The stakes didn't seem high at all to begin with, making Bulgakov's change of heart devoid of value. The turning point happens all to quickly, leaving us little to no time to feel his anguish. From that point on, both his physical and economical situation improve and so does that of those he loves...An entertaining play that balances wit and criticism as it gives us a privileged seat to the revelation of how principled a dissident voice can really be." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Elements of 'Collaborators' are very appealing: Robin Haynes, as the secret police officer Vladimir is hilarious and complex and his character evolves intriguingly throughout the piece…Hodge’s play is cleverly written if a bit long-winded at times. Director Peter Dobbins has delivered the play as best he can, but there’s little he can do to save its two major flaws. First is a serious problem with relevance…And since we can’t easily connect, the play, at two hours plus, is overly long." Full Review

Broadway Blog

"Director Peter Dobbins is unable to inspire his uneven cast to provide the proper intensity or stylistic talents needed to enliven this difficult material. The production, running nearly two and a quarter hours—despite being announced as 90 minutes—is leaden and flatfooted; entrances, exits, and scene transitions are sloppy; and the mostly realistic approach provides little evidence of the satirical, nightmarish, even phantasmagorical humor demanded by the script." Full Review

New York Theater

"Unfortunately, the production makes it difficult to understand why 'Collaborators' went over so big in the U.K. The humor, while evident in theory, is often nearly snuffed out by the sluggish pace and the uneven acting. The play is also awkwardly staged...Director Peter Dobbins doesn’t seem able to navigate the sharp turns in tone, from tickling to terrifying, that the playwright clearly intends." Full Review

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Cast & Creatives (17)