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Page last updated: 16/12/2012 Masque Theatre © 2012

The Seagull
by Anton Chekhov

29 April - 2 May 1992
Northampton College Arts Centre, Booth Lane, Northampton


Production No. 266

More images from The Seagull

FROM THE PROGRAMME NOTES


After Chekhov had finished The Seagull and read it through, he wrote to his friend Souvorin: “l am absolutely not a dramatist”. This verdict on himself must have been reinforced by the audience’s opinion of the play at its first production in St. Petersburg; by the opening of the third act the hissing had become general and deafening. One reviewer said of the play that it was “such a dizzying flop, such a stunning fiasco”.

Two years later, Stanislavsky revived the play for the newly founded Moscow Arts Theatre. He wrote an account of this first night. “In the house the success was colossal; on stage it was a second Easter. Everyone kissed everyone else, not excluding strangers who came bursting backstage. Someone went into hysterics. Many people, myself amongst them, danced a wild dance for joy and excitement."

Stanislavsky himself played the author, Trigorin, and Olga Knipper, soon to marry Chekhov, was Arkadina. The playwright himself was 800 miles away in the Crimea nursing the consumption that was to kill him three years later.

The translation of The Seagull used in this Masque production is by Michael Frayn who, like Chekhov, was a journalist for many years. As well as translating all the major Chekhov plays and many of his lesser works Frayn has an impressive list of West End successes to his credit including Noises Off and Alphabetical Order.

John Cartwright as Trigorin in The Seagull

Cast & Crew

Medvedenko Hamish McDonald
Masha
Patricia Coleman
Sorin
Roger Sharman
Konstantin
Steve Tucker
Yakov
David Ufton
Nina
Janine Dalton
Polina
Min Kingston
Dorn
John Lott
Shamrayev
Richard Walker
Arkadina
Ann Greenaway
Trigorin
John Cartwright
Cook Grace Ciappara
Maids
Judith Pinner, Helen Hasan
Workman
David Dunkley
Singer
Ann Elizabeth Bowen

Director Alison Dunmore
Stage Manager
Gloria Pollock
Assistant Stage Manager
Judith Pinner
Continuity
Jean Jongman, Janice Allen
Costumes designed and made by
Jane Roebuck
Assisted by
kate Boileau, Elaine Geeson, Jan Peters
Make up and hair
Susie Lawley Wakelin
Set designed and built by
Derek Banyard
Lighting
Sonia Ollivierre
Sound
George Hammerschmidt

A scene from The Seagull
           
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