Theatre Collection is a theatre company that was founded in 2009. The company is an expansion of the highly acclaimed ‘ART-VIC’(Anglo-Russian Theatre) and ‘Act Provocateur International’ which has a history spanning for 25 years. They have performed at 12 Edinburgh Fringe Festivals as well as various National and International festivals in from the USA, to Africa to Russia. Artistic Director Victor Sobchak’s latest production is Anton Chekov’s The Seagull which is will be running at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre from 11th to 17th June only. I managed to grab a few moments of Victor’s time to find out more about his experience with Chekov and his plays.
HS: For those that are new to the play, what can audiences expect from The Seagull?
VS: Everything what one can expect from great play: love, lust, betrayal, fallen expectations… Basically this great play can be interesting for different audience: lovers of melodrama will find here a twisted love story; people who like to see what is under the text will find many layers – from urge for innovation in Arts to eternal question of what the purpose of our existence is…
HS: What was your first encounter of the play?
VS: In the USSR when I started studying drama and directing (it was a long time ago)! Since then I have directed nearly all Chekhov plays and farces and made adaptations of almost 100 short stories.
HS: Have you been influenced by other productions/versions of The Seagull?
VS: I saw many Chekhov’s plays in many countries but for me one was very special ‘Three Sisters’ which was at the Taganka Theatre in Moscow in 80-s. It had a fantastic set with descending back wall to the panorama of Moscow in Winter and the cries from the three sisters – “To Moscow! To Moscow!” was almost pulpable. The directing was great and the cast had some of the best actors in it. It was fresh and with respect to the writer which is what I hope my version is too.
HS: How have you made your production stand out from others?
VS: Really this is not my task and purpose! I am trying to follow the writer I am directing. I think/ hope I understand Chekhov. All Chekhov’s plays are full of humour of a different kind. Chekhov is a funny and cruel writer. Antonin Artaud – famous creator of ‘theatre of cruelty’ reckons that Chekhov was one of the cruellest writers in world. His cruelty is to tell the ‘naked’ truth about us, our inner motivations and thoughts. He is always telling the bitter truth and laughing at us and himself.
For tickets and more information please visit http://lionandunicorntheatre.co.uk/the-seagull-and-hamlet/
Stay tuned for an interview with one of the leading actors from The Seagull, coming soon!
Until next time,