by Simon Stone after Anton Chekhov
Anton Chekhov – and with him the modern theatre – entered the 20th century with a drama about everyday life, desire and failure: «Three Sisters», first performed at the Moscow Arts Theatre in 1901 is a family chronicle in which Chekhov maintains a balance between melancholy and joie-de-vivre, realism and stylization.
The Australian writer and director Simon Stone took Chekhov’s famous play as the starting point for his rewriting – voted «Play of the Year 2017» in «Theater heute» magazine – that combines rapid fire dialogue, subtle character studies and the ambivalence that arises from them while locating the play thematically in the here and now.
«Do we even deserve to be happy? Because perhaps we’re always looking for the opposite. We sabotage all the opportunities life offers us.»
Chekhov’s provincial figures become city dwellers in their holiday home, searching for the meaning of life in the age of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, hankering after childhood memories and visions of the future in between conversations about the defeat of the Left and Donald Trump. The play is about the existential and the comic, about hopes and dreams – and about using these to attack the ever-threatening banalities of the everyday, loneliness and desperation.
With his radical new interpretations of works from the classic canon of dramatic literature, Simon Stone is regarded as one of the most influential directors in international theatre today. This production for Theater Basel was invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen 2017.
«Chekhov’s plays all begin with the direction that they are set in the present and I am taking him at his word. The present never stops. At some point, people started shifting it to the past because they thought that by the present the author had meant his own present. But they should always reflect contemporary society.» Simon Stone