Τhe Seagull is a play that fascinates worldwide artists, spectators and readers. Perhaps because every decade finds its own vision and need to lean upon Chekhov’s work, perhaps because the vision and the needs of the characters in the play are primordial and yet timeless. This year, in the new NTNG staging, the vision and need are dictated by the “Right to Difference.” Through a “different” and his unsuccessful efforts to innovate, get rid of the established norms and justify a new vision in art, a performance that praises difference and every attempt for change, no matter if it succeeds or not.
October 1896 (Chekhov’s letter to his brother after the Seagull’s first staging.)
“The play was knocked down and the performance was withdrawn as total disaster. There is a feeling of unbearable shame and awkwardness in the theatre. The actors performed with detestable stupidity. The moral of all this fuss is that no-one should write for theatre. It is a comedy with three female and six male roles, four acts, a landscape of a lake, a lot of discussion about literature, a bit of action and five tons of love.”
The Seagull, a monumental play in modern theatre that brought to the fore of world theatre a rebel of literature, is one of the most favourite plays of the world repertoire.
In the ambience that Chekhov creates in the play, all his philosophy, his life journey, the joy of Spring and the constant collapse of hope, but despite the above, a firm faith to a better future is always present. His heroes, like seagulls, strong yet vulnerable, fly over the lake, as symbols of freedom and the victory of human spirit over adversities and life troubles.