Platonov Review 2001

Written by Chekhov, adapted by David Hare.
Director: Jonathan Kent
Producer: Almeida Theatre
Starring: Adian Gillen, Sam Beazley, Nicholas Boulton, Arthur Cox, Tam Dean Burn, Frances Grey, Sacha Grunpeter, Bernard Kay, Peter MacKriel, Edward Macleem, Helen McCrory, Jodhi May, Tobias Menzies, Camilla Power, Bruce Purchase, David Ross, Adrian Scarborough, Roger Swaine, Alwyne Taylor and Jeffry Wickham.
Synopsis:A Russian schoolmaster faces up to the implications of being irresistibly attractive to four different women.

A round up of the press notices......

Most of the popular press liked the play but were not impressed by the leadinng roles..... BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES describes it as a "finely staged production". He goes on to say, "In an excellent programme-note Hare calls Platonov “a thrilling sunburst of youthful anger and romanticism”. I think he’s right." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, " Gillen's Platonov drifts glumly around in a monotonic drawl, flashing no more sex-appeal than a Belisha beacon. He wears an air of deadpan callousness and nothing more. " He goes on to say, "Kent's fascinating production is let down by its lead actors. " CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Kent's production, superbly designed by Paul Brown on a vast stage, is badly hampered by Aidan Gillen's performance in this key role. He undoubtedly captures Platonov's bitter anger...but there is so much selfishness and cruelty, so little humour and charm, that it becomes impossible to sympathise with the character." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Aidan Gillen's saturnine Platonov is faithful to the play's vision of the hero: inward, brooding, somnambulistically seductive." He goes on to say, "The real joy of the evening is one of discovery, seeing Chekhov's first play at last presented in all its wild, prophetic and glorious imperfection. " JOHN PETER for THE SUNDAY TIMES says, "Here is a masterful production of a big, sprawling, precocious, difficult play.." SHERIDAN MORLEY for TELEXTEXT says, "The problem with Jonathan Kent's epic production is that, for once, the Almeida has undercast. Even Aidan Gillen in the title role is curiously uncharismatic, so that we wonder how four women can adore him. "

Links to full reviews from newspapers...

The Times
Evening Standard
Daily Telegraph
The Guardian
Sunday Times

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