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Lloyd Webber Announces Master and Margarita for Next Show

Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced on his blog that the darkly satiric Russian novel The Master and Margarita will be the source of his next musical.

The Tony Award-winner writes, "After six months of agonising about what I should write next I am going to attempt the impossible. I am going to see if I can turn Mikhail Bulgakov's extraordinary novel The Master and Margarita into a stage musical or, more probably, an opera...I know it has been done many times before but never, that I am aware of completely in music...I am very aware that this will be almost certainly the most ambitious undertaking I have ever embarked upon. It will therefore almost certainly falter and will depend on who my collaborators are. At the moment I have not approached anyone."

As Lloyd Webber describes the novel, "Bulgakov's novel is a fantastical satire of Soviet life which begins with Satan visiting Moscow in fancy dress. He falls into conversation with a critic and a poet who are debating the existence of Jesus Christ and the Devil. Accompanied by a disorderly band of followers, which includes a tom cat, Satan begins to create havoc. Disappearances, destruction and death spread through the city and the beautiful and courageous Margarita discovers her lover has vanished into the chaos. Making a pact with the devil, she decides to try a little black magic of her own to save the man she loves."

Bulgakov began the first draft of the novel--which is now hailed as a masterpiece of comtemporary literature--in 1928 and was working on the fourth draft when he died in 1940.  The book--which was basically fully written by its third draft--was completed with the help of his wife.  Until 1973, parts of the book were censored in the Soviet Union.  In 1989, Lidiya Yanovskaya restored a complete version based on all available manuscripts.

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has been a major theatrical force for almost 40 years.  Also a theatre-owner and impresario, Lloyd Webber has penned the music to Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, Song and Dance, The Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, The Beautiful Game, The Woman in White and more.  As the producer of the upcoming London The Sound of Music revival, he currently appears on the UK reality show "How to Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?," which aims to find an unknown actress to play the spirited governess in the West End.

Visit www.andrewlloydwebber.co.uk for more information on Lloyd Webber and to read his blog.

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