Anton Chekhov’s infamously long-winded, unfinished early play comes to life in a new, aggressively pared-down adaptation from Blessed Unrest. More…
A man of status with questionable sexual ethics runs rampage. A society fixated on the chaos of the moment ignores their collapsing economic system. A culture of open gun possession leads to rash and deadly consequences. Sounds familiar? Laura Wickens's bold new adaptation cuts Chekhov’s 220-page script to a lean 60 pages.
"The striking physicality of much of the acting, and the overlapping and interruptions in the delivery of the dialogue all work with the space itself to create a captivating immediacy. This crisply directed production tosses the audience in in medias res and sweeps it along, the overlapping dialogue reflecting the web of the characters' entanglements, and the continuous action is itself Shakespearean in its unbroken flow across a bare stage...The entire cast does magnificent work." Full Review
"Rampant silliness collides with requisite melancholy in the spirited Anton Chekhov adaptation...A faithfully sly condensation of this flawed early work..The characters are archetypical and the dense plot blends comedy with sadness...Discerning who is who and what is what can be difficult at times due to the streamlining but the show’s program describes the characters and their relationships to each other...A worthy and inventive take on this problematic material." Full Review
"An intense, topical adaptation of Chekhov's first play...In Laura Wickens' fierce ninety-minute adaptation, physical theatre company Blessed Unrest pulls 'Platonov' from obscurity, breathing new life and topicality into this overlooked play...Blessed Unrest's charged adaptation transforms 'Platonov' from theatrical relic to cautionary tale, revealing the dangers of unmitigated corruption and unchecked human folly." Full Review
"This production is an appreciated but flawed glimpse at a very young Chekhov testing out ideas and forms...Wickens’ adaptation is an enjoyable read. She expertly captures the nuanced behavior within Chekhov’s simple and precise language...'Platonov' contains all the charm and joy and satisfaction in visiting his earlier short stories...Its value comes from the joy in exploring and sharing an important moment in this great artist’s evolution." Full Review
"As a performance, there is much skill in evidence...This energy is quite entertaining in moments, but it does not add up too much. What we are given is the CliffNotes version of the play, moving with all haste from Chekhovian trope to Chekhovian trope. But none of it lands emotionally as we have no time to linger...I wish the adaptation had not been so literal – i.e. trying to cram everything into 90 minutes – but it have pushed for a more nuanced innovation of its own." Full Review
"'Platonov' gets away from Burr, because Chekhov depends on connectivity, not fragments...She emphasizes mechanics, and ultimately, the pace seems like a refutation of this supremely empathetic author...Underestimating how much people want to listen to him—they want to see a significant 'Platonov', not a literalized one...The last moments of the play aren’t prepared for, and they don’t shock or surprise in the way that a well-directed version of 'The Seagull' can." Full Review
"'Platonov’s' sexual ethics are particularly relevant in light of the #metoo movement...Performances are excellent...All of this should add up to a stellar production, but despite the best efforts of everyone involved, it falls short...Ultimately, there’s a reason that 'Platonov' isn’t as widely produced as later Chekhov...it’s simply not as good...All but the most die-hard Chekhov fans will likely find it exhausting." Full Review
See it if you are at all interested in Chekhov: this play is the seedbed from which his mature masterworks would spring over the next few years.
Don't see it if you are uneasy about mixing farce with tragedy.
See it if Wickens' stripped down adapt makes Chekhov's title character a #MeToo reprobate yet still keeps him interesting; well acted by Stokes
Don't see it if Some actors had difficulty with duel roles Play's arc still clunky despite edit (more Chekhov's fault than Wickens) Fluid staging by Burr
See it if You are familiar with some of Checkhov plays and won’t get confused if a character plays 2 or 3 parts.
Don't see it if You get confused easily with someone plays a different part when changes their clothing.
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