These adaptations of Anton Chekhov’s prose and recent translations of his stage plays deliver a strong prosaic punch and wit. What better way to enjoy Chekhov’s colourful characters and strange situations than to put on a show?
To help you decide which play to perform, we’ve made a list of a few of our favourite adaptations.
1. August (Chekhov/ Mitchell)
(Full Length Play, Drama / 7m, 4f)
In this adaptation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, his eloquent study of languid Russian landowners and a family in turmoil has been transposed by Julian Mitchell to Victorian north Wales in this stunning adaptation. This version was also a film directed by and starring Anthony Hopkins.
2. The Bear (Chekhov/ Lawrence)
(Short Play, Drama / 2m, 1f)
Glasgow, 1890. Andrew Baird calls upon Flora McNeil to settle a debt owed by her late husband, but she is unfortunately penniless. Baird is determined and refuses to leave until the debt has been paid. Pistols are brought out for a duel, but first someone must learn how to shoot.
3. The Cherry Orchard (Chekhov/David Lan)
(Full Length Play, Drama / 9m, 5f)
The Cherry Orchard is the story of a mortgage, with the grounds and beautiful trees of the proud landowners going for sale at a public auction to pay off their debts to the boorish son of a poor man who has risen in status.
4. The Good Doctor (Chekhov/ Simon)
(Full Length Play, Comedy / 2m, 3f)
In this series of sketches we find a feisty old woman who storms a bank and upbraids the manager, the classic tale of a man who offers to drown himself for three rubles, and many other funny anecdotes. The stories are droll, the portraits affectionate, the humor infectious, and the fun unending.
5. The Parasol (Chekhov/ Dunai)
(Full Length Play, Drama / 8m, 2f)
Adapted from Chekhov’s novel Three Years, The Parasol by Frank Dunai is an emotional and unconventional story of unrequited love between a married couple who settle into their unhappiness to find mutual respect and friendship.
6. The Seagull (Chekhov/ Poulton)
(Full Length Play, Drama / 7m, 6f)
Konstantin writes an avant-garde play for his beloved Nina to perform. His mother, a successful actress of the traditional school, and her novelist lover attend the first performance in a meeting which sets off a series of tragi-comic events which leave no-one unaffected. An adaptation which is both fast-moving and funny.
7. Uncle Vanya (Chekov/ Friel)
(Full Length Play, Drama / 6m, 4f)
A family is on the verge of breakdown under mounting pressures of the world around them, none more so than the eponymous Uncle Vanya. A middle-aged man in a crisis of values, he is further threatened by dispossession at the hands of his brother-in-law. Passions run high, compounded by idle intrigues of unrequited love.
If you’ve enjoyed staging some of these versions before, we also have other Chekov adaptions available to perform!