Juliet Stevenson - who opens this month in the world premiere of Tom Murphy’s Alice Trilogy at the Royal Court – counts Chekhov as one of her favourite playwrights but she’s never appeared in a professional production of the Russian dramatist’s work. She’ll set that right next year when she returns to the National Theatre to appear in a new production of The Seagull, directed by Katie Mitchell, whose 2003 NT staging of Chekhov’s Three Sisters was widely acclaimed. Stevenson has previously been seen on the South Bank in Hedda Gabler, Yerma and The Caucasian Chalk Circle and has worked with Mitchell before at the RSC (on a season of Beckett shorts) and the Royal Court (The Country).