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In and Out of Chekhov's Shorts | Southwark Playhouse

Eliot Giuralarocca’s In and Out of Chekhov’s Shorts is a highly creative, ensemble led production that uses live music and innovative storytelling devices to plunge the audience into the very heartfelt and hilarious stories of Chekhov’s men and women.

The humour of Chekhov’s writing is brought out with skilled ability and timing by all of the cast, which although has the audience laughing in aplomb, also rings very true. Tales of love, sex and fights between the genders all unravel over two hours which fly by.

The cast should be commended for performing Russian characters with bold temperaments, and not doing what British theatre so often does with Chekhov by anglicising the behaviour. Chris Agha and Graeme Dalling work marvellously as a comedic duo in the first story ‘The Chemist’s Wife’, which culminates in an effectively joyful and randy rendition of ‘Kalinka’. ‘The Lady with the Dog’ follows, which is performed with depth and subtlety by Elisabeth Snegir and Eliot Giuralarocca who bring the romance to life. Verity Bajoria has great musical flair and shines in the final story ‘The Bear’ with dry humour and steely eyes. Through cleverly linking these short stories, Giuralarocca reveals the great theatrical potential that they pose.

Strong atmospheres are created by the cast who effortlessly manoeuvre between musical instruments to create a clever live underscore, and there is creative use of minimal props and set. At one point a letter flutters by on a branch as a bird in flight, thrown into the air by a woman hidden behind a wooden frame to symbolise a window. Victoria Spearing’s brilliant set is memorable and provides a playground in which the cast are able to create such vivid scenes. The evening is filled with creative moments like this, where Dragonboy Theatre shines through with their intelligent and unique creative vision.

This is a company to watch out for and hopefully, they will be back soon with more.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Jeremy Banks


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