After being saved from a suicide attempt by the appearance of a literary editor, the journalist and failed novelist Sergei Maxudov has a book suddenly accepted for stage adaptation at a prestigious venue and finds himself propelled into Moscow’s theatrical world. In a cut-throat environment tainted by Soviet politics, censorship and egomania – epitomized by the arrogant and tyrannical director Ivan Vasilyevich – mayhem gradually gives way to absurdity.
Unpublished in Bulgakov’s own lifetime, Black Snow is peppered with darkly comic set pieces and draws on its author’s own bitter experience as a playwright with the Moscow Arts Theatre, showcasing his inimitable gift for shrewd observation and razor-sharp satire.
Cockrell’s light touch often lifts the text onto a playful plane.
Russia Beyond the Headlines
High quality, attractively produced and moderately priced.
Born in Kiev in 1891 to Russian parents, Mikhail Bulgakov trained as a doctor and volunteered for the Red Cross on the outbreak of the First World War. He later enlisted as a doctor for the anti-Bolshevik White Army, before eventually giving up medicine to concentrate on literature. The Master and Margarita is his most famous work, and has been hailed as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.