Wednesday, October 10, 2007

the seagull

We saw Chekov's The Seagull last night at the Guthrie. Tonight we see Ian McKellen in King Lear. The Royal Shakespeare Company is doing a world tour with these two plays. Go here to see clips from both.

When we bought Lear tickets we didn't get tickets for Seagull. I didn't know much about it and thought, we're going to a lot of other plays this year. Let's skip this one. Then I read a glowing review of it in the WSJ. The critic said if you are going to see one of these plays, see The Seagull. So then I had to get tickets. The Seagull has been preferred to Lear by other critics as well.

It was beautiful and I'm so glad we decided to go. It was stunning. Romola Garai (Nicholas Nickleby, Daniel Deronda, I Capture the Castle, Amazing Grace) played the main character, Nina, a young woman who wants to be an actress. The Star Tribune called her performance "mannered and overwrought" as well as "brittle and annoying." I didn't think so. I thought it was unusual and gutsy.

We stayed for the post-play discussion. There were not many who stayed. We all went down to the first few rows and all of the actors came out on stage to take questions. I would have liked to hear Romola speak more. She was very quiet. It was so interesting to hear more about the play from their point of view. When asked if they preferred theater or film, almost all said theater, though it is harder and pay isn't good compared to film. They love our new theater and prefer it over many places they've been.

We got home past eleven and I couldn't sleep very well. The play was too stimulating. The assistant director talked about two of the themes: dysfunctional families and the young usurping the old. (She mentioned those because they also are strong themes of Lear--this in answer to the question 'Why was The Seagull chosen to do with Lear?') The theme that struck me the most was that of unfullfilled dreams and fulfilled dreams that don't bring satisfaction or happiness.

1 comment:

ave said...

It sounds so great! I have loved Romola Garai in everything that I have seen her in.