Chekhovmania. If you are afraid of loneliness, do not marry.
Coming soon to London’s Theatres.
script and direction by Gabriele Paoli
What happens when a person needs to live his present again in order to make sense of his past?
The ghost of Olga Leonardova Knipper, wife of Anton Chekhov, comes back to life. She becomes a cynical, romantic and disappointed director of her husband’s most intimate and passionate productions. Through her ever-changing moods, she manages to put time on hold and to direct her actors like a fickle puppeteer.
This woman and her vulnerability will shed a light onto three concepts with no evident common thread (destiny, duplicity and betrayal), through three pictures of daily life.
The works taken into account are “An Enigmatic Nature”, “The Night before the Trial” and “The Chorus Girl”, with quotes from “Uncle Vanja” and “The Sea-gull”.
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, old time is still a flying…”
The rose scent expands beyond space and time. Olga picks it up, she offers it to us, and like Alice falls relentlessly down the rabbit hole, we too fall into the world that Chekhov created for his beloved wife and muse.
Olga, with her strength and sensuality, leads us through three short stories, chasing the ghosts of a broken and lonely mind with grotesque irony. She looks for comfort in those stories and in their bizarre and inhuman characters. Like in the dreams those characters free themselves and show their shallowness and their quirks without inhibitions.
Husbands, wives and lovers waltz around ambiguous situations fuelled by the ultimate kind of love: the sterile and empty love for themselves.
A not-so-random rendezvous on a train between a man and a woman shows how enigmatic can be a woman’s nature to make her blare out all her desperation for a life she has chosen herself.
A man on the eve of a trial that could bring him tragic results does not lose his Casanova’s instinct.
A mistress lies and manipulates, but what happens if she meets a wealthy and betrayed wife?
And last Olga, the heart-breaking farewell, a life out of her mind trying not to deny her own nature, her love for life and her strength to believe once again:
“I know now, I understand at last, Anton, that for us, whether we write or act, it is not the honour and glory of which I have dreamt that is important, it is the strength to endure”.