Page extent: 96
ISBN: 9781783198993
Binding: PaperBack

The Seagull

Anton Chekhov, Torben Betts

PaperBack (19 Jun 2015)

 ‘Only love brings happiness into this earth, the poetical love of youth, sweeping away the sorrows of the world.’

As guests assemble at a country house for the staging of an avant-garde open air play, artistic temperaments ignite a more entertaining drama behind the scenes, with romantic jealousies, self-doubt and the ruthless pursuit of happiness confusing lives, loves and literature. 

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781783198993
Binding PaperBack
Page Extent 96


'Torben Betts’s new version is killingly funny. Yet it doesn’t stint on the suffering. So its broad tone, stylistic innovations and salty language might startle traditionalists more accustomed to silver birches, samovars and understated introspection. Yet its essential emotional truthfulness rings out as loudly as its rueful laughter...has a balletic, almost cinematic, grace.'  Sam Marlowe, Times ★★★★ 

'A fresh, free-flying new adaptation...This electric, blackly funny adaptation of The Seagull brings out both the venom and the anguish of hopeless longing in Chekhov’s 1895 original. Torben Betts’ often terse, expletive-filled update will probably have Chekhov purists pining for their samovars, yet while certain subtleties are cast aside, this is an intelligently provocative production...Though the costume is nineteenth century, both the edgy delivery of dialogue and the movement instantly feels very twenty-first century... though the laughs come easily, they are not cheap – the dialogue deliberately echoes the more hollow aspects of celebrity-obsessed self-scrutinizing existence today, and in so doing binds us more closely to the plight of Chekhov’s characters. Time Out ★★★★ 

'This robust new production of Chekhov...seizes the classic text by the scruff of the neck...I adored it... there’s a punchy energy and strong through-line of thought, perfectly mirrored by Torben Betts’s earthy new adaptation which refuses to let everyone remain in an emotionally distant 19th-century world... A high-flying Seagull.' Evening Standard ★★★★ 

 'Betts has already developed a fine reputation for works such as Muswell Hill or more recently Invincible and the astute social realism of both resonates through this latest commission. He amplifies Chekhov's ubiquitous subtext to further expose the petty cruelties, preoccupations and raging egoism within this landmark ensemble piece while also rendering it surprisingly contemporary... A remarkably accessible translation supported by engaging performances. The Stage ★★★★