Chekhov: The Seagull

Chekhov: The Seagull

The Young Chekhov plays were performed as a trilogy at the National Theatre in 2016, offering a unique chance to explore the birth of a revolutionary dramatic voice.

Take a closer look at one of Chekhov’s major plays with director Michael Oakley, actors Joshua James and Olivia Vinall, and academic Rosamund Bartlett.

the seagull is the first great play of the 20th century it's the play that's influenced all all plays I've always been a massive fan of the c-collars in play I just think it's a nice kind of the most beautifully crafted play but I think the sea god is one of those plays where whoever you are wherever you're from and however old you are there's something in it that you'll grasp onto the seagull is absolutely core to his theatrical output the seagull is about a group of people who are on an estate in Russia it's written at the end of the 19th century and it's about arena our Cardinal and but she's a very famous world famous actress icon has been way acting and she comes back one summer with her new lover true Goran who's a very famous writer but her son Constantin also wants to be a writer but he wants to do revolutionary writing he wants to make new thought forms of theater and he and he's written play and he gets his girlfriend Nina from the neighboring state to act in his play and the play begins one night when they are going to show the assembled company his new play but it goes terribly wrong because his mother I gardener mocks the play and and says it's it's not very good because she likes more traditional work around me they come from the marsh and wander until daybreak it's a brilliant play about ambition it's a brilliant play about self-assessment it's a brilliant play about desperation it's a brilliant play about border and how boring life could be in what you do to combat it the seagull differs from the other she plays an art Regine I'm simply because the mellow dramatic moments of both platonov and Eve Arnold are sort of getting ironed out by the time you get to the seco there's very little melodrama in it and so in a way you're watching you know checkles falling you really into thinking you're watching life and you're really there with those people observing their lives what Chuck offers exploring is you know ultimately the meaning of life and the nature of human existence and the idea of having a meaningful life and all these characters are searching for meaning the plot there's not much going on in the plot it's really a study of peopleand and human nature and really at the core of it it's a searing and devastating the examination of unrequited love and you know this sort of so-and-so love so-and-so who doesn't love them who loves them and everyone's in love with the wrong person it was the first day that really required real nuance and subtlety on the part of the actors and it was the first play that dealt with really complicated subtle emotional you know journeys Nina's the first one who mentions the seagull in the play but it's as if I'm drooling across the leg like a seagull she loves him in that moment and that freedom and that soaring and all her passions and Joy's are wrapped up with him so then when Constantine shoots the goal he has he's showing that a part of her has been destroyed by him and that their relationship or that love that feeling has ended and it's it's very cruel to pick an image that she chose in a moment of love so then when Trigorin sees the seagull and uses it within his story and puts her in his story which in immortalizes her because she thinks she feels like the seeker come along catches sight of her and for no other reason but that he can he destroys her just like this seagull then by the end you learn everything about how their relationship has and and did and everything that's happened between them no that's normal right I'm the actress I'm the actor Seagal she repeats at the end to me it's kind of I looked a lot at late onset Tourette's because she comes out with these outbursts so for me that was a way into kind of saying the line because it's a very hard line to say and she says it repeatedly and then corrects herself so it's kind of like an outburst that's coming from somewhere so on I feel like from all the trauma it's it's a really horrible and beautiful metaphor throughout the play art is very much at the heart of this play new forms is something which Constantine says at the beginning about his own play the play within the play we need new forms plays the same thing that the exaggerated lighting three walls these priests of art Chekhov was writing a new form of drama with the seagull and started a revolution he wrote it when he was still so young and yet he can understand the kind of complexities of a relationship he just seems to have a kind of natural access to it that I find extraordinary


  1. the Seagull was the first play in the history of the theater dealing With the ordinary people and Their ordinary feelings. There are no Heroes nor Big tradegies.
    just everyday people With Their High and lows. at the same time it's a play about a search and somtimes calling for a higher meaning. – quite human. like the author
    that's why it was boohed out at the first performance, but has been triumphant ever since!

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