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ANTON PAVLOVICH CHEKHOV (1860-1904) was 35 when he wrote The Seagull. He had been a practising doctor but his short stories and a prolific output of humorous articles and essays that he contributed to innumerable Russian publications established his reputation as a literary figure. Chekhov’s four great plays - The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard have been staged thousands of times and enjoyed by millions all over the world.

August (Uncle Vanya)  by Anton Chekhov ISBN: 1872868142 publisher Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9781872868141
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Anton Chekhov
August

August is Julian Mitchell's adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, transplanted from the thick birch forests of Russia to the more familiar world of North Wales in the 1890s. By clearing away the dachas, samovars and confusing patronymics Julian Mitchell lifts the veil of ‘foreignness’ from Chekhov’s masterpiece and reveals the universal qualities of the play and its characters. Directed by, and starring, Anthony Hopkins, with Leslie Philips, August was premiered at Theatr Clwyd, Mold, in 1994 and made into a film the following year. (Cast 5+m, 4+f)

“Mitchell’s translation to Wales is a sharp-edged little joke that’s wittily, consistently sustained.”
~
Robin Thornber, The Guardian

“There can be few greater tributes to the universality of Chekhov’s writing than this brilliant and apparently effortless transplant of his world, his yearning, half-blind characters, their isolation, their semi-articulate feelings and futile violence, into an entirely different culture.”
~
John Peter, The Sunday Times

“[Mitchell’s] English version (with fragments of Welsh) is eminently actable and distinctively captures Chekhov’s extraordinary mixture of wild humour and stabbing heartache.”
~ Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

 


Anton Chekhov
Ivanov

Ivanov was Anton Chekhov’s first full-length play. When it was premiered in Moscow in 1887 it was given a mixed reception but a revised version presented in St. Petersburg in 1889, was triumphantly received. Now, 100 years later, Ronald Harwood offers a version which strikes a chord with modern audiences, for the play offers many familiar Chekhovian characters and themes: a hero in need of salvation, an honest but self-righteous doctor, a heroine in a stale marriage, and a young woman offering love that is rejected - all against a background of obsession with money, property and family obligations. It is, perhaps, Chekhov's most underrated work.

Ronald Harwood’s adaptation was first presented at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford and subsequently at the Strand Theatre, London, directed by Elijah Moshinsky and starring Alan Bates, Nicky Henson and Felicity Kendall. (Cast 6+m, 5+f)

Ivanov, Chekhov’s first successful play, given a rare and welcome outing [in] Ronald Harwood’s vigorous translation...”
~ David Nathan, Jewish Chronicle

“...a reclamation of a difficult and neglected work.”
~ Ian Herbert, London Theatre Record

“Here is Chekhov in a new guise ... This nipped and tucked version by Ronald Harwood is more theatrical and about twice as dynamic as the original.”
~ Christopher Edwards, The Spectator

 

 

Ivanov by Anton Chekhov / Ronald Harwood ISBN: 0906399955 published by Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9780906399958
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The Parasol by Anton Chekhov / Frank Dunai ISBN: 187286824X published by Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9781872868240
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Anton Chekhov
The Parasol

Adapted from Chekhov’s novel Three Years by Frank Dunai; first presented at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough (directed by Alan Ayckbourn) and subsequently at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, starring Simon Cadell and Maggie O’Neill. (Cast 8m, 2f)

'Act One, Scene One: The homely middle-aged son of a rich Moscow merchant, infatuated with a frivolous, provincial beauty, sniffs at her parasol and finds the courage to ask her, awkwardly, to marry him... It was not difficult to adapt this marvellously sad and funny story. The technical adjustments were virtually dictated by the narrative structure, the conflicts of the characters, and Chekhov’s ever-present sense of drama.'
~
From Frank Dunai’s Introduction

The Parasol has an authentic Chekhovian feel - the bourgeois boredom and guilt, the aching, aimless loneliness - without the musty archaism we get in some translations. It’s crisp and sharply witty and has the emotional directness of the real thing . . . It’s a richly intricate, carefully crafted fusion of sociology and psychology and the private pains of a pre-revolutionary world . . . It’s like discovering an old master in the attic.”
~
Robin Thornber, Guardian

“There are plenty of attempts to rewrite Chekhov - but it is a remarkable play.”
~
Alan Ayckbourn

 


Anton Chekhov
The Seagull

First staged in 1896, The Seagull is set on the country estate of the wealthy Sorin where his sister Arkadina, a famous actress, is spending the summer with her successful novelist lover, Trigorin. Also here are her son, Konstantin, and Nina who he loves. Konstantin shoots a seagull, but taking this life has unexpected repercussions on his own, and Nina’s. This translation by Tania Alexander and Charles Sturridge, was commissioned by the Oxford Playhouse Company and seen in the West End in 1985, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Jonathan Pryce. (Cast 8m, 5f)

“A sparkling new translation... suffused with pathos and humour.”
~
Don Chapman, Oxford Times

“The play has been flooded with light, like a room with the curtains drawn back”
~
John Peter, Sunday Times

“...marvellously lively, robustly idiomatic.”
~
Martin Hoyle, Financial Times

“The direct simplicity of this new translation... uncovers not only the nerve endings of Chekhov’s restless malcontents but also their comic absurdities. It is, as he always intended, actually funny...”
~
Jack Tinker, Daily Mail

 

 

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov / Tania Alexander / Charles Sturridge ISBN: 0906399661 published by Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9780906399668
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