Very disappointed by this production given its pedigree. The direction adds nothing new to this production and whilst I applaud bringing out the humour in Chekhov in Hampton's translation, the audience hooting at the idea of Konstantin's suicide is perhaps going too far! Mackensie Crook is, politely, miscast and there is no emotional arc to his character: at the start Konstantin is about to put on his "new" play starring the woman he loves and loves him - by having him start gloomy and boring the direction leaves him nowhere to go. KST and Carey Mulligan add class and are moving and the supporting cast are fine. But overall, the production is overlong and unmemorable, and the ending, always difficult, was awkwardly handled. Then again, I loved the Katie Mitchell version which wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but at elast had atmosphere.... - david robertson
15 Mar 07
Really piss poor production badly misconceived (best bits copied from Katie Mitchell at the NT)When will producers learn comedians generally can't act? Chiwetel miscast as he's far too young. Kristin ST surprisingly brilliant.Scrappy design again remarkably similar to NT in second half.
Roll on the new regime.
- David Boyd
07 Mar 07
On my just posted comment, I give the Seagull 5 Stars. I just forgot to change the score on top. Sorry. - laura
12 Feb 07
I saw a production of The Seagull on the stage at Central Park in New York about five years ago, and this is by far the more superior production. Chiefly because there's not one character in this play that upstages the other. In spite of the huge stars in the production, somehow each individual actor is given the chance to shine in their own way. The big problem I had with The Central Park production is the way Meryl Streep just upstaged all the other actors with her acrobatic antics on the stage. I thought it was completely unnecessary, and so I felt like I was just watching a big Broadway production. This Seagull is, however, a completely different play. In many ways, it's so clear and lucid that anyone who is a newcomer to watching Checkov will immediately find the point in his writing. Of course, it helps that the actors in this play are extremely skilled at characterizations and not over-acting. I found Katherine Parkinson's Masha to be quite compelling. When she first came out on stage, I felt she had almost a sinister quality to her, and then later on you experience the pain of her constant dismissal by Konstantin. I was impressed by Peter Wight's Sorin. I applaud him for his physicality. Even by simply combing his hair and beard, you can appreciate the extent of his dissatisfaction with his life and his love for his family. Kristin Scott Thomas is wondrous and of course, you are immediately blown away by her beauty and elegance, but at the same time her performance is extremely well-balanced. It was refreshing to see someone who, on the big screen usually displays a great deal of composure be so girlish, arrogant, anxious and dangerously comedic. But then, I've always thought of her as the bravest actress working on stage and screen today. Christopher Hampton's adaptation gave this production a fresh light. It's unfortunate that not too many more people will see it now because it's completely sold out, and I'm sure that a West End transfer will not be possible either because of the Movie Stars in the production. I'm sure Hollywood is impatiently calling already. Well, I hope I'm proven wrong. - Laura
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