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This is Not a Chair: Complicite's Master and Margarita

  • Liliane Campos

Abstract

In this article Liliane Campos links Complicite's Master and Margarita (2011) to the company's previous productions, from The Street of Crocodiles (1992) to Shun-Kin (2008). She develops a close analysis of The Master and Margarita as it was staged at the Avignon Festival in July 2012, arguing that the company's aesthetic is characterized by a tension between narrative fragmentation and visual connections. While Complicite's shows overflow with postmodernist multiplicity and division, the urge to connect these ‘shards of stories’ is a driving force in Simon McBurney's artistic direction. This dynamic is explored here both on a semantic level, as a consequence of Complicite's physical language, and on a narrative level, through the use of framing and frame-breaking devices. The article highlights the company's recurrent themes and the defining traits of its performance style. Liliane Campos is a Lecturer in English and Theatre studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris. She has published various articles on British drama and performance, and two books about the role of science in contemporary writing and devising for the theatre.

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