Frank Castorf was born in East Berlin in 1951. After writing a thesis on Eugène Ionesco, he became a dramatist, then a director, in various theatres, the subversive character of his shows bringing him notoriety. He founded his own company in Anklam in 1981, adapting and directing texts by Heiner Müller, Antonin Artaud, William Shakespeare, and Bertolt Brecht, incurring the wrath of censors. Frank Castorf kept his independence when the fall of the Berlin Wall allowed him to create shows in West Germany and throughout Europe, where he was recognised for his unique approach to novelistic, philosophical, and dramatic texts, which he brought together with panache and a sharpness of tone. Named director of the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin in 1992, he remained the bad boy of the most prestigious theatres and opera houses in Europe, using texts by the greatest authors (Sophocles, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Strindberg, Beckett, Kleist...) to loudly question the order of the world. After his visits to the Festival d'Avignon in 2004 with Pitigrilli's Cocaine and in 2007 with Céline's North, Frank Castorf reunites with Mikhail Bulgakov, the Russian genius whose Master and Margarita he directed in 2002.
© portrait Thomas Aurin