Ivanov - The Seagull - Uncle Vanya - Three Sisters - The Cherry Orchard
The five plays in which Chekhov's worldwide reputation rests defy attempts to determine what they are about. Some productions of Chekov exude an atmosphere of unrelieved gloom; others turn into a boisterous romp round the samovar. Are they tragedies of loss and dispossession, or light-hearted send-ups of society's misfits? Chekhov does not answer such questions; instead, he involves us in the emotional experience of his characters as they seek for a pattern and meaning in their lives. The grand design eludes them, but what they have left, their everyday existence, their unspectacular victories, and unheroic disappointments, can seem somehow, within the confines of the Chekov play, to matter at least as much.
This collection of five great plays is taken from The Oxford Chekhov, Ronald Hingley's scholarly edition, acclaimed for the accuracy and 'speakability' of the translations.
Translated with an introduction by Ronald Hingley.