As with many of Chekhov’s plays, Three Sisters depicts the decay of the Russian upper classes as well as the struggle to find meaning in the modern world. The sisters at the centre of the play are Olga, Masha and Irina; they are all in their twenties, all a part of the educated class, and have been living in a small, dull provincial town for the last eleven years.
Although their father and mother have died, they live under the protection of their elder brother Andrey, and together they share in the dream of moving back to Moscow. For all the characters of this play, however, dreams turn to doubt and they are forced to accept the essential suffering of their lives.
The heavy philosophising of this play sometimes creates an overpowering melancholic mood, but this production preserves a sense of hope in the first two scenes. Equally, the cast handles the many solemn pauses and repetitions of the text with delicacy. The attention to detail shown by the cast is mirrored in the costume and staging, giving the whole show a polished and controlled quality.