"Unsettles as well as entertains"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 11/04/19

“The Fatal Eggs”, written and directed by Douglas Baker and produced by So It Goes Theatre, is an adaptation of the famous novella by the Soviet writer Mikhail Bulgakov, set alongside Bulgakov’s (Alex Chard) struggles with censorship and Stalin’s purges. While working with his assistant (Ben Howarth), Zoologist Persikov (Lucie Regan) accidentally discovers a ray that will accelerate the process of cell reproduction and growth, in effect creating life. This attracts the attention of the authorities (represented by Fiona Kelly’s NKVD agent) who are eager to rebuild the Soviet chicken population after an outbreak of plague. Over Persikov’s objections, they confiscate his equipment. However, a simple mixup in the post has unforeseen (and deadly) consequences.

Trying to combine two interlinked stories with four actors, within seventy minutes is a tough challenge, but one that Douglas Baker is able to meet by stripping down the main story to its bare essentials and using narration to fill in the gaps. He also uses sound and images to build a sense of menace. The result is a punchy, haunting tale that manages to be darkly humorous at the same time, and enables the audience to clearly see the parallels between Pesikov’s ill-fated discovery and the human consequences of the failed Soviet experiment.

A strong play that will unsettle as much as it entertains.

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