The Seagull review from 2006

  • Date:
    Monday, 26 June, 2006

    Genre: Drama
    Opened 27 June 2006
    Written: by Anton Chekhov, in a version by Martin Crimp
    Directed: Katie Mitchell
    Produced: National Theatre
    Cast: Juliet Stevenson, Ben Whishaw, Mark Bazeley, Michael Gould, Sean Jackson, Liz Kettle, Sandy McDade, Hattie Morahan, Justin Salinger, Angus Wright
    Synopsis: ‘Young girl lives on shore of lake since childhood – like you. Loves the lake – like the seagull. Is happy and free – like the seagull. Then one day a man turns up, sees her, and mindlessly destroys her.’

    What the critics had to say.....
    NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Anyone who comes fresh to the play should be warned they are not seeing some radical reinterpretation, but a pallid version of the real thing...Mitchell's Seagull does, though, generate an intriguing, desolate atmosphere." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "This is an evening where acting takes second place to effect and the sight of a decaying class tangoing its way to oblivion. It is director's theatre at its most indulgent in which the play, as Chekhov wrote it, is definitely not the thing." DOMENIC CAVENDISH for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "One of the most insightful Chekhov interpreters of her generation with a daringly dark and stripped-back Seagull." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "The period is somewhat confusingly updated to the 1920s...the main problem is an excess of atmospherics and detail...One should feel their pain at the end. I didn’t." ALASTAIR MACAULAY for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "It’s clever, it’s elegant, it’s interesting – and so what if it isn’t the least bit moving? Or if it isn’t the play Chekhov wrote?"

    External links to full reviews from popular press
    The Guardian
    The Times
    Daily Telegraph
    Financial Times

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