Anton Chekhov’s Vaudevilles
translated and adapted by Michael Frayn
directed by Jenny Eastop
Mercurius present Chekhov’s one-act plays: The Bear; The Evils of Tobacco and The Proposal. These classics of the comic theatre, full of energy, invention and splendidly magnified performances, were written by Chekhov the humorist in between struggling to create his great plays Ivanov and The Seagull.
He titled them “jokes” and called them “mangy little vaudevilles” but he re-worked them throughout his life, they were performed at the Maly in Moscow and before the Tsar in St Petersburg and established him as one of the leading boulevard playwrights of his day.
Joined here by three dramatised short stories, Drama, The Alien Corn and The Inspector-General that Chekhov wrote for the humorous journal Splinter, translator and adapter Michael Frayn has created an evening of entertainment and comic invention.
Mercurius was set up in 2011 by a group of five like-minded theatre practitioners who wanted to create the theatre that inspired them, from new writing to neglected classics.
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