The Seagull by Chekhov
- The Fluellen Theatre Company, Swansea
Directed by Peter Richards
Music by Henry Ward
A play of unfulfilled dreams – that contain superb moments of comedy which doesn’t detract from the very human emotions of despair within the text. Swansea Fluellen Theatre’s staging of The Seagull is particularly welcome at this current time of Putin’s crackdown on all dissent because it serves to remind us that, from Pushkin to Pasternak, the great Russian writers have always served as the conscience of the nation, suffering harassment, imprisonment and even death to do so.
The four main characters are a dysfunctional bunch with convoluted romantic entanglements. The fading actress Irina Arkadina, desperately clings to her previous glories. Popular author Boris Trigorin enjoys commercial success, yet feels it is all hollow. Irina’s son Constantine pursues his dream of writing symbolist plays, but his plays are off-the-wall. Nina is determined to be an actress, but her talent is second-rate.
In a Chekhovian mix of the mundane and the melodramatic, the play reaches its shattering conclusion in the middle of a Bingo game.