Chekhov's short stories to be staged in Horsham and Crawley

In and Out of Chekhovs Shorts
In and Out of Chekhovs Shorts

In and Out of Chekhov’s Shorts promises an innovative take on some of Chekhov’s best loved stories.

With dates in Crawley and Horsham, Dragonboy Productions say they will take them “out of their traditional, stuffy drawing rooms into a world where colour, humour and absurdity abound.”

Adaptor and director Eliot Giuralarocca said: “Equal parts pathos, drama and comedy, these tales embrace traditional dynamic storytelling techniques and weave through them an integral original score performed on stage as part of the action.”

The cast is Eliot Giuralarocca, Elisabeth Snegir, Graeme Dalling, Laura Singleton and Tom Neill. Performances include Tuesday, October 1 at The Hawth Theatre, Crawley at 7.45pm and Saturday, October 5 at the Capitol Theatre, Horsham at 7.45pm.

The tales remain as memorable and bracing as jumping into a cold plunge pool after a hot sauna, Eliot says.

“These wonderful hymns to the absurdity of everyday life are by turns hilarious, romantic, poignant, odd and memorable.

“They hold the mirror up to the half-comic, half-painful experience of love and relationships and create a world in which the tender and the grotesque are inextricably linked. Ludicrous situations and larger than life characters abound. We hope to create an evening that simply cannot be missed!”

“In and Out of Chekhov’s Shorts brings to life some of Anton Chekhov’s celebrated short stories. I wanted to create a dynamic, exhilarating piece of theatre, with original live music and presented in a style that celebrates and relishes the theatricality of storytelling itself.

“I started working on adapting these stories about a year ago, thinking of them as a bit like folk tales to be spoken aloud as if sat around a fire on a winter’s night.

“I’ve created an ensemble of five actor/musicians to perform them and after months of marketing and selling the show to theatres, we rehearsed the show in three and a half intensive weeks.

“We will play a troupe of nomadic Russian Gypsies that arrive in front of the audience pulling their carts behind them, carts that contain everything needed to tell the stories, costumes, props, musical instruments, chairs, rugs and so on.”

The show opened at the Greenwich Theatre from September 12-14.

“We want the audience to feel that when the evening is finished, we will simply pack up and move on to tell our stories somewhere else. In a sense this is literally true as we will be touring around the country for five weeks, performing the show in about 27 theatres!

“I’ve always loved Chekhov’s short stories, I first read them about 20 years ago and since then they have always stayed with me.

“The five stories that I have chosen to bring to the stage are The Chemist’s Wife, At a Summer Villa, The Lady with a Little Dog, An Avenger and The Bear.

“By turns romantic, hilarious, odd and memorable, at their heart, these are stories about people desperately trying to connect with each other sometimes comically, sometimes poignantly.

“Each story is complete in itself, but performed together they map out the arc of a relationship, following the progress of idealised youthful love with all it’s excitement, yearning and disappointments, through mid-life cynicism and infidelity, to the results of jilted love and vengeance.

“The very best stories can shape how we see the world and offer us a glimpse of our own reflections.

“They encapsulate a particular moment in time that is at once personal and universal.

“I’ve always believed in the enduring power and importance of storytelling.”

Coming up at Chichester Festival Theatre this winter

Big names line up for 2019 Petworth Literary Week

Find out who's coming to Chichester Festival Theatre this winter

Chichester's newest cabaret, music and theatre venue set to launch