The Seagull - Headlong - On TourHeadlong
Posted 01 June 2013 - 04:58 PM
As for the characters being irritating, it's what Chekhov wrote, it's why he described it as a comedy, despite the pain.
Posted 02 June 2013 - 05:55 AM
Posted 02 June 2013 - 09:42 AM
Posted 02 June 2013 - 10:48 AM
Posted 02 June 2013 - 10:05 PM
Personally, I didn't find any of the characters irritating other than comic irritation (it is a comedy) and saw deeply flawed but deeply human empathetic people - it sounds like only I saw it, but there we go. It's the unfussiness that still strikes me - nothing on-stage diverted our focus from the characters and their dialogues and debates. The effing was naturalistic in a way the tamer "bloody frigging bloody frigging" wasn't in Upton's Cherry Orchard. I always connect to Chekhov on paper but don't always on stage as sometimes the samovars are more important to the director than characters or subtext, and sometimes the aim to be modern means the original is somewhat discarded. Here, no such problems. For me it really worked.
But that said, the people next to me (a group of girls probably in sixth form, I'm bad at telling ages) said of this that it was the dullest thing they'd seen at that theatre (clearly they missed The King's Speech). But that said, people near me said the same thing at the very traditional Vaudeville Vanya, and the radical Russian Vanya. So if I'm limping towards a conclusion it's that Chekhov's more challenging than he might seem, and it's likely impossible to find a translation that pleases everyone.
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