The Seagull

by Anton Chekhov, in a new version by John Donnelly

Headlong Theatre (2013)

Directed by Blanche McIntyre

Lighting design by Guy Hoare

Photography by Tristan Kenton

The idea was to create an environment which responded to each character in a different way, magnifying their qualities and their relationships.

An ink-blue curved floor and wall were over-painted with hydrochromic ink. This ink is solid white when dry, but becomes clear when wet, revealing the layer beneath. So the 'landscape' of the set was impacted by each performer differently: swimmers' footprints, spilt vodka, scrawled writing, drips of blood. As the set dried, it faded back to a blank sheet.

The long seesaw which provided all the furniture finally became a jetty thrusting through the fouth wall and out over the lake.

" an extraordinary take on Chekhov’s play: layered, feisty, gorgeously melancholic and frequently droll. An outstanding production"

What's on stage

"Laura Hopkins has created an opalescent backdrop, like a blank page which is slowly filled with streaks and scribbles as the emotional terrain of the play becomes more convoluted…it does that rare thing - succeeding in making you look at a familiar play afresh.”

The Stage

"Blanche McIntyre's staging of The Seagull is up there with the best."

The Observer

“Laura Hopkins's design, daringly dominated by a giant seesaw on which characters can exert themselves and give others a jolt, is all of a black and dark peat piece … This starkness throws into sharp relief Chekhov's questions about artificiality, acting and the future of the theatre.”

The Guardian