The Brief Life And Mysterious Death Of Boris III, King Of Bulgaria
27 September 2023
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
The Brief Life And Mysterious Death Of Boris III, King Of Bulgaria, is a new musical currently playing at the Arcola Theatre. Despite it being just up the road from me, I had actually not been to the Arcola before, so it was interesting to check out a local theatre.
The show itself is quite something else, drawing on the true story of how Bulgaria stood up against the Nazi regime and saved nearly 50,000 of its Jewish citizens. The story revolves around King Boris III, having to make tough choices between the Soviet power on one side, who would seek to swallow the small country up, and the German one on the other, whose political goals neither Boris nor the country at large agreed with.
Presented with Bulgarian folk music, fast paced role changes, and plenty of direct audience interactions, it’s an interesting piece of theatre. It does veer into the kitschy at times, but manages to keep the audience interested and amused, despite the at times difficult subject.
I did feel that this play was a little too much on the comedy side for the story it was trying to tell, not really bringing across the seriousness and devastation of the situation. Still, it was an interesting piece of theatre that seemed to fly by while entertaining and educating the audience all at once.