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The Seagull

    by Chris Chambers


Drama Play: 'The Seagull' by Anton Chekov adapted by Chris Chambers

Simon loves Stella, Stella loves Kit, Kit loves Nina, Nina loves Boris, and Boris loves Irina… and Nina.

Purists have argued for many years over the translation of Chekhov’s tragic play, but Chris Chambers has set this seagull free of all that, with an amusing and sometimes cheeky 21st century adaptation, (ironically using Julius West’s 1915 translation as a reference). There’s plenty to work with and there’s fun and farce to be had among the tears and tragedy, with a whoopee cushion, arrangements for lunch at The Ivy, mobile phones and kindle books all playing their part.

Anyone interested in the great works of Chekhov will be familiar with the story of a family, their friends and their lovers, one destined for greatness, some for inevitable heartbreak, and one for a very sad end indeed.

This adaptation has been brought right up to date. No longer a period piece, it manages to retain the beauty and essence of one. Chris Chambers has deliberately simplified the dialogue to more closely resemble contemporary speech. It is immediate and tempestuous and highlights the struggle of the creative spirit seeking recognition in an unwelcome world of reality TV shows and passing fame.

Drama Play: 'The Seagull' by Anton Chekov adapted by Chris ChambersSurprisingly, perhaps, Chekhov described the original as a comedy – and in as much as it throws light on the frailty of relationships, it is. This character driven piece affords wonderful opportunity for ten actors, moving from comedy to tragedy, sometimes in the space of a scene. Together these characters create a mosaic of domestic life, their actions impacting for good or bad on each other. As time passes the tragedy of cause and effect begins to become clear. The ‘soap opera’ setting of this adaptation in no way diminishes its profound impact – made more harrowing by it’s mirroring of our own time.

The themes that Chekhov explored in the 19th Century are given renewed energy in this contemporary version, reapplied to a new age.


(7m, 5f)

  • Bob (Yakov) - a handyman
  • Simon (Medvedenko) - 30s, a teacher
  • Stella (Masha) - 20s, unemployed, Victor's daughter
  • Peter (Sorin) - 60+, owner of the estate
  • Kit (Konstantin) - 20s, Irina's son, owner of the estate
  • Nina - 19, local girl
  • Eugene (Dorn) - 55+, a doctor
  • Irina (Arkadina) - 40-55, a celebrated actress
  • Boris (Trigorin) - 30s, a celebrated writer
  • Victor (Shamraev) - 60s, a retired lieutenant and estate manager
  • Paulina - 50s, Victor's wife
  • Maid 

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