Great play, great cast, great lighting, great sound effects, sumptuous set and perfect costumes – the production values must put this play by Anton Chekhov as one of The Rondo’s top plays of 2011.
Director John Reid has give this period piece contemporary dialogue while the play remains in late 19th century Russia.
Its essential concerns are the romantic and artistic conflict between the four main characters: aging actress Irina, her playwright son Konstantin, famous writer Trigorin and the young aspiring actress Nina.
Chekhov refers to the play as a comedy with “a great deal of conversation about literature, little action, tons of love”.
The Rondo programme notes that: “The lack of action takes place on Sorin’s estate,” while after the interval, “there is further lack of action in the two years that elapse between Act 3 and 4.” Brilliant. There’s no mention of the play as a comedy so if Chekhov was serious then Russian comedy in those days was not as we know it, Jim.
However, the cast and production were faultless and a distance above most plays seen at The Rondo – and that’s not to belittle the general high standard there.
Chekhov plays are rarely seen nowadays and are clearly more challenging than the average fare, but it was worth a trip to Larkhall for this exceptional performance.