"Chekhov's classic splutters along"
by Philip Herbert for remotegoat on 24/01/08

This is the review I have been dreading. The one where I have to be brutally frank and honest and say No I did not enjoy it.

The Seagull is a classic but in this poorly performed production, where we are transported nowhere. We never forget we are in a small room above a pub in Kentish Town and although this new adaptation is somewhat modern it never really takes off.

The actors seem to struggle with the wealth of emotions and the stifled intensity of living by the lake. We never hear the seagulls and the pained expressions of some of the cast are often too loud to bear in such a small space.

There is also some confusion over the alcohol consumption; they talk about wine but drink out of huge vodka bottles, there is plenty of hip flask action but no-one ever gets pissed. Some of the lines struck a comedic tone "you are the last hope for Russia" the actress shouts as she is on her knees performing a sexual act upon a shocked writer. All in all a very brave attempt but we never knew who was rich or poor, whether we were inside or out and what era we were in - this is surely down to a poor script.

The final scene with rolling eyes and staring into space summed up the lack of reality or truth and the audience left somewhat confused and none the wiser.

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