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The Seagull

Deutsches Theater Berlin / Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
By Anton Chekhov
German translation by Angela Schanelec

Directed by Jürgen Gosch
Stage and costume design Johannes Schütz
Dramaturgy Bettina Schültke
Lighting design Torsten König

With
Corinna Harfouch Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina, an actress
Jirka Zett Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplev, her son
Christian Grashof Pjotr Nikolayevich Sorin, her brother
Kathleen Morgeneyer Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya, daughter of a rich landowner
Bernd Stempel Ilya Afanasyevich Shamrayev, manager of Sorin’s estate
Simone von Zglinicki Polina Andryevna, his wife
Meike Droste Masha, his daughter
Alexander Khuon Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin, a novelist
Peter Pagel Yevgeny Sergeyevich Dorn, a doctor
Christoph Franken Semyon Semyonovich Medvedenko, a teacher
Ben Clark Yakov, a hired workman
Przemek Zybowski a cook
Theresa Schütz a maid

Premiere 20 December 2008
Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
Lenth 3h, one interval

Audience discussion
Sun 10 May 23:00
Moderation Barbara Burckhardt

The people in “Uncle Vanya”, last season’s master production, live out their false lives in a clay brown box. A single wall, black as night, as if drained of all human warmth and all colour, is the basis of “The Seagull” with which director Jürgen Gosch and his designer Johannes Schütz continue their Chekhov investigations at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. The actors are even more naked and unprotected, demonstrating their ability to let the essence of life appear and then vanish again on the forestage under rehearsal working lights. It is the theatre itself that becomes the subject of this comedy of desperation. Old acquaintances we thought we knew appear as we have never seen them before: Corinna Harfouch’s dry, remarkably uncoquettish provincial diva Arkadina, Alexander Khuon’s unusually young belle lettrist Trigorin, whose slovenly soulfulness is all the more monstrous. They are the ones who carry on, trampling over the dawn of youth: the unsuccessful actress Nina (Kathleen Morgeneyer) is destroyed by a false love, Kostya, the failed theatrical visionary (Jirka Zett) goes to his death. Jürgen Gosch is mercilessly thorough in revealing these dissonances: in the end the whole group freeze against the black wall.