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Hornby discusses why Anton Chekhov's The Seagull is the ultimate challenge for the actor in modern drama. Staging this remarkable play requires not just talent and experience, but also time, care, and thought. The first staging of this major play was done by the best company in St. Petersburg, headed by an outstanding actress, was a flop not because the actors were no good but because they failed to appreciate the problems created by the playwright's radical innovations. Last fall, a highlight of the Broadway season was an import of London's Royal Court Theatre production of The Seagull, staged by former Artistic Director Ian Rickson. This time, however, they managed a presentation that, while not perfect, was very fine indeed--better than the Royal Shakespeare Company's version of the play that came over the season before.
Playing Chekhov Richard Hornby The Hudson Review; Spring 2009; 62, 1; Docstoc pg. 113 Reproduced with perm
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