Matthew Kelly will star in the world premiere of a new adaptation of Chekhov’s classic The Seagull by the award-winning playwright Anya Reiss.
Russell Bolam will direct the 21st century version from 8 November to 1 December at the Southwark Playhouse, with Kelly set to lead the cast as Dorn, a country doctor.
One of Chekhov’s most famous dramas, The Seagull tells the story of a successful actress who visits her brother’s isolated estate far from the city, throwing the frustrated residents’ unfulfilled ambitions into sharp relief. As her son attempts to impress with a self-penned play, putting much more than his pride at stake, others dream of fame, love and the ability to change their past.
Olivier Award-winning actor Kelly was last seen on stage in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of a more modern classic, Educating Rita. His other numerous credits on stage include West End productions of Waiting For Godot, Lend Me A Tenor The Musical and Sign Of The Times, as well as Comedians at the Lyric Hammersmith, Troilus And Cressida at Shakespeare’s Globe and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf at Trafalgar Studios 1.
Reiss, who will give the classic its new modern spin, found acclaim when the Royal Court premiered her debut play Spur Of The Moment, a work she had written when she was just 17 years old. Following Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for the work, her follow-up, The Acid Test, opened last year at the Royal Court to similar critical acclaim.
The Seagull will play as part of Southwark Playhouse’s final season in its current home beneath the arches of London Bridge station before the venue moves to an as yet unannounced location while Network Rail’s redevelopment of the station takes place.