In 19th Century rural Russia, an anxious young writer prepares the first performance of his new play for the two women in his life. The consequences are devastating, with everybody in love with the wrong person, and death hovering close by.
Through both comedy and tragedy, Seagull explores lives that are precariously balanced between love and indifference success and failure, hope and despair. This is classic Chekhov with the original censor’s cuts restored.
Arcola Theatre and Runaway Theatre present
by Anton Chekhov
In a new translation by Charlotte Pyke, John Kerr and Joseph Blatchley
Director Joseph Blatchley
Designer Dora Schweitzer
Lighting Designer Neill Brinkworth
Roger Lloyd Pack
The staging and the text have an unaffected freshness. This is absorbingly vibrant – a Seagull that soars.
★★★★THE TIMES (Sam Marlowe)
Blatchley has created a world of real people tormented by real and devastating decisions. Powerful, poignant and bordering on perfect, this was the most wonderful evening I have ever had in the theatre in a long, long time!
THE GOOD REVIEW (Kieran James)
Joseph Blatchley orchestrates his team flawlessly. An excellent cast produce engaging, well-defined characters. A well executed revival which I found extremely enjoyable.
THE LONDON THEATRE GUIDE (Peter Brown)
A strong cast all round.
★★★★EVENING STANDARD (Melanie McDonagh)
In director Joseph Blatchley’s hands, the play feels fresh and vital. (His) production is full of warmth and wit. This is very much an ensemble piece with the cast swiftly and elegantly sketching the complex relationships between the characters.
THE STAGE (Natasha Tripney)
Joseph Blatchely’s fine new production of The Seagull takes us to the Russian countryside in a fresh and exciting way. Working with Charlotte Pyke and John Kerr on a new translation, Chekhov’s text seems funnier and more dramatic than ever.
THE LONDON MAGAZINE (Edward Lukes)
Stunning. This is a tremendous and nuanced production.
★★★★★EXEUNT MAGAZINE (Stewart Pringle)
One of the dozen or so greatest plays ever written by anyone anywhere is being given just about as fine a production as you can reasonably ask for. I would happily send a first-timer to Arcola to discover what a great playwright Chekhov is, and I can also recommend it to Chekhov veterans for the many fresh colours and lovely touches director Joseph Blatchley and his cast bring.
All I have to say is that I have to go back to James Mason and Vanessa Redgrave in the 1968 film to find a version as moving and true as the one here – and then to add that just about everything else in the production is on the same high level.
THEATREGUIDE LONDON (Gerald Berkowitz)
Blatchley’s production, beautifully designed and lit by Dora Schweitzer and Neill Brinkworth respectively, places a strong emphasis on the tensions between creative and emotional fulfilment, between the self-love of the talented and selflessness required for truly satisfying relationships.
★★★WHATS ON STAGE (Jo Caird)
The Arcola Theatre Experience
We are striving to cool the two studio spaces as much as possible but as the temperatures have recently risen, it is advised to dress appropriately.