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March 19, 2010


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Alexei's speech in the early part of the novel is more powerful, more of a cri de couer than what was rendered in the play. All through the play crucial speeches are either omitted altogether, or rewritten to change their meaning, sometimes by 180 degrees.


I went to see this last night not having read the reviews. My initial reaction was to give it a 6.7. Then I read the five star reviews on my return home and was surprised. I recently read the novel The White Guard and I agree Upton's version veers too far towards jokiness and cheap laughs. I found Larion unfunny. Alexei's speech in the early part of the novel is more powerful, more of a cri de couer than what was rendered in the play. I found Elena falling for Shervinsky (nicknamed 'the carp' in the novel) unconvincing. I also found the denouement unsatisfactory. In the novel Alexei is critically injured but survives. He pulls through and this is a metaphor too i think. Also Nikolka is much younger, braver, impetuous, is a fighter. This version of the play, unfortunately, seems to diminish all the Turbins. It doesn't do Bulgakov or his work justice. However, I was impressed by the sets and the design and the battle scenes.


How interesting to read. I personally loved the play, I rather liked the mix of humour and wistfulness with the brutal war (I wasn't just enchanted by the set changes!) but since I had no previous knowledge of The White Guard, or indeed much Bulgakov really, I had a somewhat different experience!

Wow. I just went to see this play and thought it was poo. I was heartbroken that my Bulgakov had so let me down. Now I'm going to find the original text. In short: WTF. And thanks for writing this.

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