Tuesday 28 June 2016

Austen Alumni at the National

Last year I was lucky enough see The Seagull at Chichester not once but twice. This marvellous production took my breath away and is without a doubt the finest play I have ever seen, with a cast and staging to die for. The Seagull is coming to the National Theatre this summer with Platonov and Ivanov as part of the Young Chekhov season. Among the cast are plenty of Austen alumni including the wonderful Adrian Lukis (who teated me to wine and whitebait during my Chichester Chekhov pilgrimage), Anna Chancellor and Peter Egan.

Don't miss the remarkable trilogy.


The Chichester Festival Theatre productions
YOUNG CHEKHOV Olivier Theatre
Previews from 14 July, press day 3 August, booking until 3 September with further performances to be announced. 

The YOUNG CHEKHOV trilogy opened to overwhelming acclaim at Chichester Festival
Theatre last year. The company now come to the National, offering a unique chance to explore the birth of a revolutionary dramatic voice. The production is directed by Jonathan Kent, with set designs by Tom Pye, costumes by Emma Ryott, lighting by Mark Henderson, music by Jonathan Dove, sound by Paul Groothuis and fight direction by Paul Benzing. Performed by one ensemble of actors, each play can be seen as a single performance over different days or as a thrilling all-day theatrical experience. Cast includes Emma Amos, Pip Carter, Anna Chancellor, Jonathan Coy, Mark Donald, Peter Egan, Col Farrell, Beverley Klein, Adrian Lukis, Des McAleer, James McArdle, Mark Penfold, Nina Sosanya, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Sarah Twomey, David Verrey, Olivia Vinall and Jade Williams. 

David Hare has written over thirty original plays, including The Power of Yes, Gethsemane, Stuff Happens, The Permanent Way (a co-production with Out of Joint), Amy’s View, Skylight, The Secret Rapture, The Absence of War, Murmuring Judges, Racing Demon, Pravda (written with Howard Brenton) and Plenty for the National Theatre. His other work includes South Downs (Chichester Festival Theatre and West End), The Judas Kiss (Hampstead and West End) and The Moderate Soprano (Hampstead). His adaptations include Behind the Beautiful Forevers and The House of Bernarda Alba at the NT, The Blue Room (Donmar and Broadway) and The Master Builder (The Old Vic).

Jonathan Kent’s productions for the NT include Emperor and Galilean, Oedipus and The False Servant.  Previous productions at Chichester Festival Theatre include Gypsy (also West End) A Month in the Country, Sweeney Todd and Private Lives (also West End). As joint artistic director, with Ian McDiarmid, of the Almeida Theatre for over ten years, his productions included Ivanov, The Tempest, Medea (also West End and Broadway), Richard II and Coriolanus (Almeida at Gainsborough Studios), Ph├Ędre, Britannicus and Plenty (Almeida at the Albery Theatre) and Lulu, Platonov and King Lear (Almeida at King’s Cross).  In 2008 he directed Marguerite, The Sea and The Country Wife at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.

Schoolteacher Mikhail Platonov has a problem – he’s irresistible to women. Set in the blazing heat of a rural summer, this freewheeling comedy is a cry of youthful defiance against the compromises of middle age. Previews from 14 July, press day 30 July. 

Nikolai Ivanov is only 35, a radical and a romantic, but already he’s feeling that he’s thrown his life away. Determined not to become a small-town Hamlet, he hopes one last desperate romance may save him from a society rotten with anti-Semitism and drink. This electric play is powered both by hilarious satire and passionate self-disgust. Previews from 19 July, press day 30 July.

The Seagull

On a summer’s day in a makeshift theatre by a lake, Konstantin’s cutting-edge new play is performed, changing the lives of everyone involved forever. Chekhov’s masterly meditation on how the old take revenge on the young is both comic and tragic, and marks the birth of the modern stage. Previews from 23 July, press day 3 August. 

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