The Brief Life & Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria transfers to London’s Arcola Theatre

Fresh from a hit run at the Edinburgh Fringe, The Brief Life & Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria is to transfer to London.

Joseph Cullen and Sasha Wilson’s piece will run at Arcola Theatre from 26 September – 21 October 2023.

The darkly comic retelling of the life of Bulgarian King Boris III combines historical theatre and folk music with a modern revisionist twist.

The Brief Life & Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria explores the suspicious circumstances of the King of Bulgaria’s demise, how nearly 50,000 Jewish people were saved from deportation and death during WWII, and how the world forgot all about it. The ensemble performs Bulgarian and Jewish folk tunes while sharing this unique untold but true tale from 20th century European history.

2023 marks 80 years since the events of The Brief Life & Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria; the anniversary of the King’s death coincided with the end of the festival and was commemorated with a reception with Boris III’s grandson, HRH Prince Kyril. This play is a call to arms that there is power in being good, and ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Even the smallest David can become a Goliath.

Making up the cast are Joseph Cullen, David Leopold, Sasha Wilson and Clare Fraenkel.

The production is directed by Hannah Hauer-King with set design by Sorcha Corcoran, costume design by Helen Stewart and lighting design by Will Alder. It is produced by Claire Gilbert and Lorra Videv for Out of the Forest Theatre.

Writers Sasha Wilson and Joseph Cullen said: “So far over 4,000 people have seen our telling of the Eastern European David standing up to the Goliath of Hitler’s Third Reich. We have been delighted by the response from critics and industry, and even more so by the feedback from Bulgarian and Jewish audience members.

“We are thrilled to be bringing this story to the Arcola Theatre. This is a story worth sharing, about people worth talking about, from a period of history we all think we know so well.”

For more information and tickets, visit arcolatheatre.com

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About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.