Are you there, crocodile?: inventing Anton Chekhov
In Are You There, Crocodile? Michael Pennington retraces his ten-year search via Moscow, Siberia and London for identification with the elusive Chekhov - a journey that offers vivid insight into the Russia in which the playwright and his contemporaries lived. Tolstoy, Gorky and Dostoyevsky all make their appearances, along with the artist Levitan and members of Chekhov's family; his wife and leading actress Olga Knipper, his sister and brothers, his parents Pavel and Evgenia, and even his dog Quinine.
We follow the opening in Anton Chekhov at the National Theatre in London and its subsequent life on tour, television and radio, as actor and subject fall uncannily into step with each other.
The result is an unusually intimate view of the man who wrote The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard and a compelling account of an actor's relationship with his character. It includes the complete text of Anton Chekhov by Michael Pennington, as performed in its recent revivals at the Old Vic and Chichester Festival Theatre.
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actors actress Alexei Suvorin Andrei Anton Chekhov Anya Arkadina Astrov audience beautiful become black monk called character Chebutykin Chekhovian Cherry Orchard desk director doctor Dorn Dostoyevsky dream English eyes face fact father feel felt Gaev girl Gorky horse imagine Irina Ivanov Konstantin Levitan light Lika live look Lopahin Lucien Lyubimov married Masha Maxim Gorky Meanwhile Melikhovo Michael Pennington Moscow Art Theatre mother moving Nemirovich never night Nina Olga Knipper once peasant Pelageya performance perhaps Petersburg play play's Prozorov Ranyevskaya Raskolnikov realise rehearsals remember roubles Russian Sakhalin Seagull seems Serebryakov Siberia sitting Sonya sound Soviet stage Stanislavsky story Strider Suvorin Taganka Taganrog talk there's thing thought Three Sisters Tolstoy Trigorin Trofimov turned Uncle Vanya Varya Vershinin walk wanted watching wife wonderful write Yalta Yegor Vlasych Yeliena Yuri