The Three Sisters Review

The Three Sisters Review

11th August 2011
Anton Chekhov
Dunstan Playhouse
Adam Cook
The State Theatre Company
The Three Sisters
Production Company: Director:
Date Viewed:

Anton Chekov’s The Three Sisters is a naturalistic performance expressing the interactions between the social classes in a century old Russia and the continuous search for a meaning to their existence. This intriguing and tragic piece of theatre was made truly enjoyable through the use of the peculiar merging of two distinctly different eras, the jumps through time and the particularly accurate outlook of the Russian society of 1911. The grown Serghyeevna children face multiple situations across the passage of time, showing their search for true happiness and meaning to their existence as they encounter both good and bad in the world.

It was the aim of the director, Adam Cook, to give this naturalistic play a sense of surrealism by making the performance appear as if it were a lost memory. This effect was achieved through the use of merging two different eras throughout the play: the mixture of archaeologists amongst period characters and the horizontally split stage. The use of the old and broken furniture and household added to the effect of looking into the past as well as the sense of being forgotten or lost. Cook also created a sense of claustrophobia to the set in order to highlight the character’s feelings of being locked away and trapped in a small and uneventful town.

Cook expressed his concept strongly through the design of the set. The broken furniture and decaying features helps to force upon the audience the sense of time passing. By covering key areas of the set with sand, it helps reinforce Cook’s concept of a lost or forgotten memory being relived. As the house was buried by sand and time, it became forgotten. The set was also used to help the audience understand the link between the modern and past eras. This was achieved by creating the top half...

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