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the seagull

Lizzie Schebesta as lost Nina in ‘The Seagull’. Pic- Heidren Lohr

Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov’s 1896 play ‘The Seagull’ is a tragedy, charting the fall of an ambitious, sensitive young man who succumbs to the slings and arrows dealt by life.

The play starts at an exciting time for young playwright, Konstantin. At his uncle Sorin’s beautiful country estate, Konstantin invites houseguests to a performance of his new experimental work staged in the estate’s open-air theatre. The houseguests include his mother Arkadina and her partner, well-known novelist, Trigorin. His girlfriend Nina has the starring role.

At the end of the performance he enthusiastically asks the guests what they think of his play and their responses are mostly critical. What Konstantin was hoping was going to be an event that would be a triumph for him, turns out to be the first in a cruel series of defeats.

A triumph in Chekhov’s own brilliant writing career, Kate Gaul is currently directing a strong revival of the play at Sydney’s inner west Sidetrack theatre. Gaul comes us with a stunning interpretation of the play’s final scenes.

In something akin to an ‘Ordinary People’ dynamic, Josh Wakely as the ultra sensitive Konstantin and Zoe Carides as his domineering, frosty mother, Arkadina, impressed in the leading roles. In the supporting cast, the stand-outs were Matt Edgerton as the self centred Trigorin, Lizzie Schebesta as the seductive Nina, Kade Greenland as the good-natured Medvedenko, and Katherine Cullen as the volatile Masha.

Andy McDonnell’s set, the feature of which was a huge picture frame that symbolically enclosed the action, and Daryl Wallis’s edgy sound-scape were also highlights.

A Siren Theatre Company production, ‘The Seagull’ plays the Sidetrack theatre, Marrickville until the 27th June, 2010.

13th June, 2010

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