Top ensemble for marathon Chekhov triple bill at Chichester

Young Chekhov season at Chichester Festival Theatre

Chichester Festival Theatre has a top line-up for its Chekhov triple bill which comes to the venue this autumn.

A cast of 23 actors has been assembled to play 50 parts in the three plays – Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull – specially adapted by David Hare.

Lucy Briers, Pip Carter, Peter Egan, Brian Pettifer, Nina Sosanya and Olivia Vinall are the latest actors to join the ensemble for this major season of Anton Chekhov’s early plays.

They join the previously announced Anna Chancellor, James McArdle and Samuel West.

Anna CHANCELLORJames McArdle ActorSam WestBRIERS, Lucy (B&W)EGAN, Peter (B&W)SOSANYA, Nina (B&W)

The remaining members of the 23-strong ensemble are Emma Amos, Nebli Basani, Jonathan Coy, Mark Donald, Col Farrell, Joshua James, Beverley Klein, Des McAleer, Mark Penfold, Sarah Twomey, David Verrey and Jade Williams (with other casting to be confirmed).

These actors will work together for three months before the Young Chekhov season opens in September.

Each of the three plays can be seen as a single performance or they can be viewed as one event, either over different days or as one intense theatrical experience on Trilogy Days.

This season within a season is anchored by a trio of talent – Chekhov himself, playwright David Hare, and director Jonathan Kent, returning to Chichester following his triumphant production of Gypsy in Festival 2014.

The three plays offer a new perspective on the dramatist, revealing a youthful anger and romanticism that is different to his mature, more familiar work.

The central character in Platonov is a debt-ridden schoolteacher who is about to lose his home, yet remains irresistible to women.

This freewheeling comedy set in the middle of nowhere explores the traps of conventionality and moral hypocrisy.

Nikolai Ivanov is a councillor and landowner who has tried to live in a bold new way, taking risks in everything from business to romance. Now his estate is failing and his wife is dangerously ill.

Ivanov is an angry and outspoken satire, full of a passion that Chekhov would forego in his later plays.

In The Seagull, a bold new play by a young writer is about to be staged. What happens during the performance, and in the days that follow it, will change the lives of everyone involved.

The best known of the Young Chekhov trilogy is a meditation on love and art that’s both comic and tragic.

The Young Chekhov season is at the Festival Theatre, Chichester from September 28–November 14.

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