thu 16/08/2018

Chekhov

Life and Fate / Uncle Vanya, Maly Drama Theatre, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - the greatest ensemble?

Towards the end of the Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersburg's Life and Fate, a long scene in director Lev Dodin's daring if necessarily selective adaptation of Vasily Grossman's epic novel brings many of the actors together after a sequence of...

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'The greatest play ever written': translating The Cherry Orchard

“The Cherry Orchard is the greatest play ever written,” I declared, confidently, aged 16, to my mother, having just read The Cherry Orchard for the first time. She responded to my claim with a non-committal snort – remembering, perhaps, the...

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The Bear, Mid Wales Opera review - small stage, big ambitions

Go west, opera-lover: Mid Wales Opera is back in business. In fact, it’s been back since spring this year, when it toured venues in Wales and England with a warmly reviewed Handel Semele and a striking (and impressively cast) Magic Flute inspired by...

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The Seagull, Lyric Hammersmith review – is Lesley Sharp's Irina a sex addict?

The awful mother, the celebrity-obsessed teenager, the mediocre old writer who wants some young sex in his life – there are motifs in Chekhov’s The Seagull that fly merrily from one century to another, and Simon Stephens and Sean Holmes’ new modern-...

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Three Sisters, Sovremennik review - over-conscious of its legendariness

Sovremennik is Russian for “contemporary”, and ever since its founding in the Soviet Union's 1950s Thaw, Moscow’s Sovremennik Theatre company has lived by the idea that it expresses new, fresh breath in Russian theatre. Unless you argue...

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Young Chekhov, National Theatre

"Yes, from life," Nikolai Ivanov (Geoffrey Streatfeild) says in passing of a painting midway through the early Chekhov play that bears his name. But the phrase could serve as the abiding achievement of the largely thrilling triptych of plays that...

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Russia and the Arts, National Portrait Gallery

A good half of the portraits in Russia and the Arts are of figures without whom any conception of 19th century European culture would be incomplete. A felicitous subtitle, “The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky”, provides a natural, even easy point of...

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Uncle Vanya, Almeida Theatre

Uncle Johnny instead of Vanya, a passing reference to sharia law, and nary a samovar in sight: surely this can't be the Uncle Vanya that has long been a cornerstone of the British theatre, especially in a new version from its take-no-prisoners...

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An Open Book: David Lan

This year’s Olivier Awards saw the Young Vic trounce its South Bank neighbours, with Ivo van Hove’s revolutionary A View from the Bridge leading 11 nominations and four wins; the production opens on Broadway next week. It reflects an extraordinary...

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The Seagull, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Hamlet instructs his players to "hold...the mirror up to nature”, advice taken literally in this arresting 120-year anniversary staging of Chekhov’s homage to the Bard. Jon Bausor’s set is dominated by a vast angled mirror, offering an appropriately...

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Winter Sleep

This year’s Palme d’Or winner at Cannes, Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep (Kiş Uykusu), is a monumental film. Not merely in its scale – though at 196 minutes, it certainly clocks in on that front – but in its emotional heft. It’s like...

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LFF 2014: Winter Sleep

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner is an epic chamber piece by a contemporary great. From the moment a stone suddenly smashes the car window of landlord Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), physical threat darkens the corners of the remote Anatolian...

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