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Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg return to the capital with Chekhov’s Three Sisters

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a critically acclaimed West End Season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket last year with celebrated productions of Uncle Vanya and Life and Fate, the Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg is returning to the capital with a luminous retelling of Chekhov’s masterpiece, Three Sisters.

Directed by Lev Dodin, it will run at the Vaudeville Theatre for ten performances only – from Wednesday, June 19 to Saturday, June 29, 2019.

Rediscover the tragicomic story of the Prozorov sisters as they contend with their disillusioned lives in provincial Russia. Renowned director Lev Dodin directs this radiant, complex play with rich insight into Chekhov’s eloquent understanding of passion, resignation, longing, and love.

Under the artistic directorship of Lev Dodin – one of the most celebrated theatre practitioners working today – the Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg has become one of the greatest theatres in the world. During his 35-year tenure, many of Dodin’s shows have won international awards including an Olivier Award in 1989 for Stars in the Morning Sky, making the Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg the first international company to win this prestigious award. In 2000, he received the European Theatre Award.

Of Three Sisters, Dodin comments: “Checkov speaks with passion and eloquence about the hopelessness of our life, about the tragic discrepancies between our yearnings and reality, about the vital importance of staying true to oneself and preserving your dignity.

Three Sisters is a play about people with ideals. I think today too many of us – the world over – understand only too well what unfulfilled hopes are and the nature of fallen-through plans, lost illusions and impossible loves. We all unfortunately understand the universal language of loss. We understand the stern language in which life speaks to us – and in this life we must stay true to ourselves and preserve our personal dignity at any cost.”

The cast includes Alexander Bikovsky as Andrei Prosorov; Ekaterina Kleopina/Nadezhda Nekrasova as Natasha, his fiancée, later his wife; Irina Tychinina (Olga, his sister); Ksenia Rappoport (June 19-23)/ Elizaveta Boyarskaya (June 25-29) as Masha, his sister; and Ekaterina Tarasova as Irina, his sister.

They are joined by Sergey Vlasov as Kuligin, school teacher, Masha’s husband; Igor Chernevich as Vershinin, lieutenant-colonel; Oleg Ryazanzev as Tuzenbach, baron, lieutenant in the army; Stanislav Nikolskiy as Soleni, captain; Sergey Kuryshev as Chebutikin, army doctor; Artur Kozin as Fedotik, sub-lieutenant; Nikita Sidorov as Rode, sub-lieutenant; Alexander Koshkarev as Ferapont; Natalia Sokolova (June 19-23)/Natalia Akimova (June 25-29) as Anfisa, nurse; Arina Sumkina as Maid; and Sergey Ivanov as Soldier.

Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg’s Vaudeville season is presented by Oliver King and Ekaterina Kashyntseva for Belka Productions.

Tickets: From £12.50 including booking fee and theatre levy. To book, call 0330 333 4814 or visit www.nimaxtheatres.com/.

Times: June 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 at 7.15pm and June 23 at 2.30pm.

Running Time: Two hours 45 minutes including one interval.