(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/18.)
Sir David Hare has long cherished the dream of charting Anton Chekhov’s progress by bringing together three of his earliest plays: Platonov (1880), Ivanov (1887) and The Seagull (1896).
Seen in a single day, Jonathan Kent’s masterly productions bring out the parallels. All three plays are set among the rural middle class, end in a gunshot and invoke Hamlet. But what one also sees is Chekhov’s move, through evolution rather than revolution, towards a wholly new kind of drama.
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