Anton Chekhov is one of the undisputed masters of world drama. He is usually thought to hide himself behind his characters and stories, keeping his own personality well off-stage. But when he was young he wrote three plays -- Platonov
and The Seagull
-- which, with their thrilling sunbursts of youthful anger and romanticism, reveal a very different playwright from the one known by his mature, more familiar work. Young Chekhov
brings these three blazing dramas together in versions by internationally acclaimed dramatist David Hare, offering the chance to explore the birth of a revolutionary dramatic voice. The plays show a writer freeing himself from the constraints of nineteenth-century melodrama and herald the shift into the twentieth century and the birth of the modern stage.
The Young Chekhov
season premiered at the Chichester Festival Theatre in the autumn of 2015.
Anton Chekhov, Russian dramatist and short-story writer, was born in 1860, the son of a grocer and the grandson of a serf. After graduating in medicine from Moscow University in 1884, he began to make his name in the theatre with the one-act comedies The Bear, The Proposal and The Wedding. His earliest full-length plays, Ivanov (1887) and The Wood Demon (1889), were not successful, and The Seagull, produced in 1896, was a failure until a triumphant revival by the Moscow Art Theatre in 1898. This was followed by Uncle Vanya (1899), Three Sisters (1901) and The Cherry Orchard(1904), shortly after the production of which Chekhov died. The first English translations of his plays were performed within five years of his death. David Hare is a playwright and filmmaker. His stage plays include Plenty, Pravda (with Howard Brenton) Racing Demon, Skylight, Amy's View, Via Dolorosa, Stuff Happens, South Downs, The Absence of War and The Judas Kiss. His films for cinema and television include Wetherby, The Hours, Damage, The Reader and the Worricker trilogy: Page Eight, Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield. He has written English adaptations of plays by Pirandello, Chekhov, Brecht, Schnitzler, Lorca, Gorky and Ibsen. For fifteen years he was an Associate Director of the National Theatre.