Printable CopySEAGULL
Independent Theatre
The Little Theatre
Until 30 Apr 2022

Review by Doug Phillips

Anton Chekhov is largely considered a literary genius, and I have no intention of disputing that, but Independent Theatre’s production of “Seagull” felt long from where I was sitting. Long monologues, long scenes, and honestly, a long wait for it to end.

It could well be the case that those better versed in Russian literature and Chekhov’s work found the play excellent. There was certainly a rousing round of applause at the end. However, I wasn’t the only one in the audience with droopy eyes throughout. Perhaps some of us just don’t get it.

It’s clear that a great amount of work has gone into this production. From the actors and director. The performances are whole, with great attention to detail. At no stage did anyone appear to slip out of character, quite the opposite.

Certainly the older cast gave performances that were easier to watch, although Kate Van Der Horst’s portrayal of the alcoholic Masha was a welcome relief to those of her peers (who seem to just over- and under-step the mark). Van Der Horst managed to play her role with the vulnerability and sensitiveness required, while also giving us a comedic drunk at times. It would have been very easy to overplay the drunk humour, but Van Der Horst got it just right.

With some dark themes, and angst-ridden characters, “Seagull” is not a light night out at the theatre. Chekhov called it a comedy, but it’s definitely more of a drama with rare comedic moments.