Chekhov’s First Play at The Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin

On Friday 2nd of October last I had a very entertaining, engaging and different (if confusing) theatre experience at The Dead Centre Company’s production of Chekhov’s First Play at The Samuel Beckett Theatre at TCD Dublin.
The production was directed by Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd, Set Designed by Andrew Clancy, Lighting Design by Stephen Dodd, Special Effects and On-Stage Design by Grace O’Hara Costume Design by Saileóg O’Halloran, Prosthetics and Make-up Design Bridge Lucey, Wigs by Val Sherlock.
This very entertaining, different and confusing theatre experience is set in a symbolic back garden of a large Russian Country Mansion. The audience wear headphones throughout the performance, listening to the Director’s candid commentary, explanations, outrages and moments of confusion. Watch out for the Seagull’s cameo role, the on-stage costume changes and the central character Platonov’s interesting and surprising performance.
Andrew Clancey presents the performance space as a symbolic back garden of a large two storied Russian Country Villa. The action takes place around an al fresco dining table set downstage. Upstage exterior wall of the villa provides a central doorway access on and off stage. The walls and windows of the set continue down stage on either side where the downstage ends return into the wings. There are paved areas stage right and left and lawn areas also stage left and right, the paving used to dramatic effect later in the performance as are some destructive interactive actions to the set.
The design effort of all contributors combined with the direction and performances gives for a very robust theatrical presentation which is visually satisfying and supportive of the drama.
Saileóg O’Halloran’s Costume Design was effective in giving the characters a credible appearance/sense of time and place but also added to the performers getting out of character or changing character in an orchestrated and confused moment in time.
Stephen Dodd’s Lighting Design in sync with Grace O’Hara’s Special Effects and Jimmy Eadie’s Sound Design added to the many surprise dramatic moments.
The free programme gave notes on the performance, Anton Chekov, Dead Centre Company and the cast and crew credits.
Bush Moukarzel:                     http://totallydublin.ie/theatre/interview-bush-moukarzel/      
Ben Kidd:                                http://cargocollective.com/BenKidd/About-Ben-Kidd
Andrew Clancy:                       http://design.irishtheatreinstitute.ie/designers/andrew-clancy/
Stephen Dodd:                        http://design.irishtheatreinstitute.ie/designers/stephen-dodd/
Grace O’Hara:                         http://graceohara.weebly.com/   http://design.irishtheatreinstitute.ie/designers/grace-ohara/
Saileóg O’Halloran:                 http://www.abbeytheatre.ie/people/view/saileog-ohalloran
Bridge Lucey:                          http://www.lucybridge.com/  https://instagram.com/lucyjbridge/?hl=en
Val Sherlock:                           http://design.irishtheatreinstitute.ie/designers/val-sherlock/
                                                  https://www.linkedin.com/pub/val-sherlock/17/6b8/14b
Dead Centre Company:        http://www.deadcentre.org/
                                                  http://www.irishtheatre.ie/company-page.aspx?companyid=514
Project Arts Centre:                 http://projectartscentre.ie/
                                                http://projectartscentre.ie/about-us/
See also:                                 https://www.dublintheatrefestival.com/Online/default.asp

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