by Anton Chekhov
" The Meisner Technique brings an amazing naturalism and connectivity to this production of the Seagull...it was amazing and Kim Hardy was superb as Konstantin"
Francesca Annis - Actress and Judge for Ian Charleson Award.
Cast And Crew
Stephen Cristos - Sorin
Kim Hardy - Konstantin
Julia Papp - Nina
Paul Hughes - Shamrayev
Louise Templeton - Arkadina
James Tweedy - Medvedenko
Anna Stafford - Polina
Maura Duffy - Moira
Lawrence O'Connor - Dorn
Micael Walsh - Trigorin
Sound Engineer/Technician - Stefan Andrews
Joana Dias - Set Design
Jane Rankine - Costume Design
Jo Rossen - Stage Manager
Reviews and audience feedback:
(We struggled to get reviewers in but left a book for audience to sign)
The White Bear
A Front Foot Theatre Production
The Seagull is the first of what are generally considered to be the four major plays by the Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov. It was written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. It dramatises the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the famous middlebrow story writer Boris Trigorin, the ingenue Nina, the fading actress Irina Arkadina, and her son the symbolist playwright Konstantin Trepljov.
It's always interesting dealing with a play that has love and art as one of its chief concerns, as these tend to be the constant battleground for most artists. The struggle...the choices: right or wrong...people left behind - sacrificed in pursuit of something we don't necessarily truly understand but feel compelled to do. Is it egotism or altruism? Are we trying to serve ourselves or those around us?
But so do these choices exist in all lives...who can sit here today and say they have not suffered heart break? Or felt failure? That they would not choose have had more time with their parents or their children? Or broken promises and love for work? There is one thing we all share and that is the struggle of life. To bear our cross. To live with our choices and, for me, this is what The Seagull embody's - the soul's need for happiness and the struggle we endure, equally tragic as it is comedic, to reach for it.
We have dedicated ourselves to understanding the true interior life of these characters; to be free of control and conceived ideas of how one should be in a given moment and to allow instinct to govern our responses. When human beings are engaged passionately we lose ourselves, even those who profess to have control. We say and do the unexpected...a roaring argument can suddenly turn to laughter or love-making; a heartfelt hello into tears.
This unpredictability of life is what we are striving towards on stage. We have not set out to give a performance which is polished and pristine but rather one that is free, truthful and passionate; to embrace and understand the struggle of these characters and to live within that on the stage.
To my mind the greatest element of theatre is that is happening now. It's alive in the moment, living and breathing in front of you. As a group, we have rehearsed not to hold onto form but to live truthfully under the given circumstances; to respond to what is happening in the moment and to, hopefully, bring to life the heart of Chekhov's Seagull.
Reviews and audience feedback:(We struggled to get reviewers in but left a book for the audience to sign)
**** 4 Stars
"Brilliant and compelling performances from the lead actors, and the scenic backdrop effectively captures the simplicity and stillness of the natural setting.The acting approach used in this production makes for high quality and honest performances, and also works to further express the chief concerns of the play. ”
**** 4 Stars
“This is a very accessible production, with casual and personal delivery style instantly making the audience at home.” The small space makes the explosive lead performance of Kim Hardy all the more poignant. In such close quarters it is impossible not to feel real sympathy for a man whose promising life is falling apart, while his fierce outbursts leave the audience touched, feeling almost awkward to be sharing such moments of vulnerability.”
*** 3 Stars
One Stop Arts
“ A very promising start for this new production company. Amongst the main roles ,the stand out success was the gloriously natural performance of Louise Templeton as Arkadina."Audience Feedback“Can’t recommend this enough, thoroughly absorbing and superbly acted.” – John Kelley“I never seen anything quite like it. Although I confess that it was my first time seeing ‘The Seagull’ I can’t help but think that they made the long speeches much more believable and a joy to watch. You have to remember that Chekhov wrote this a long time ago and my generation is very much about the visual, having been given Iphones and sitting in front of t.v. What this play does is engages you visually and keeps you hooked by the acting which was juggernaut, making me wonder if they had assembled the best actors they could find or if all of their productions were like this. I honestly thought it was magnificent and I’m looking forward to anything else they do.” – Chris Malle“I found the interplay between the characters fascinating to watch, believable, intense and in parts even humorous. Sorin’s love of both Konstantin and Arkadina, so often in conflict, left him in despair, the perfect backdrop to his own unfulfilled ambitions, wonderfully captured by Stephen Cristos. A brilliant emotional and powerful performance by Kim Hardy as Konstantin brought energy and even a little danger to the piece and Louise Templeton as Arkadina, self-absorbed and majestic. beautifully portrayed. This is a must see performance of The Seagull. You should go and see it.” – William” I was totally drawn into the story – the actors were brilliant to watch and to listen to. I also thought the costumes were well done, subtle and classically perfect for this piece. I would recommend anyone wanting to see actors of this calibre to go see this before it draws to a close.” – Cat“I would highly recommend this beautifully done play – a mind blowing performance of this Chekhov’s masterpiece. The atmosphere was absorbing, the emotions, embedded in the speech of the actors, were real and inspiring! A must-see play!” – Dilyana“I saw this play on Tuesday and I thought it was brilliant . It is refreshing to see acting that is actually believable, and a joy and a relief to not be forced to watch the normal fake performances and big booming I can project voices that seem to get all the great reviews . This is a stunning production and I thought the acting was brilliant ! As far as The Meisner aspect of this production, I use this technique myself and that was why I was excited to go and watch it . I was not disappointed ! Anyone who is interested in this technique should go and see this show. This is a real chance to see some wonderful performances from a group of exciting actors.” – Caroline Farrington“A beautifully intimate production of a great play, filled with wonderful performances.” – Megan Hockley“This beautiful play is brought to life again and thank goodness it’s in the hands of this company. They certainly know what they’re doing!” – Mary-Ann Cafferkey“If you want to learn something about acting and want to know about the potential of Meisner technique of acting to produce a spine tingling experience for the audience, go see this.” – Anita Roddis“Stunning performances, detailed, beautiful and compelling.” – Alex Vendittelli“Chekhov with real people in it, a must-see.” – Geraldine Brennan“I would recommend seeing this delightful play. All actors’ performances were touching and beautiful.” – Monica Del Vecchio“Strong performances from the cast, great set and the atmosphere evoked is highly immersive in the intimate venue.” – Toby Osmond