The Seagull – December 2007


By: Anton Chekov

Directed by: Trevor Nunn

Company: RSC

Venue: New London Theatre

Date: Saturday 22nd December 2007

I had hoped to see some improvement from the previous performance of this production that we saw in Stratford, but apart from one or two details, it was pretty much the same, still lacking that warmth and empathy that would help me enjoy it more.

Like the King Lear, the different acting space helped a bit, as it all seemed much closer than before, and our seats gave us a good view of the stage. The detail in the servants’ comings and goings was more noticeable this time, but I didn’t catch anything extra in the main performances; they were just as good as before. The main difference was that this time William Gaunt was playing Sorin, and his portrayal was less doddery. As a result, the lines came across better, although he had to fade pretty fast by the end.

Frances Barber wasn’t limping this time, but she wasn’t throwing herself about quite so much either, as I recall. I still enjoyed her performance, and still felt very distanced from the events and characters. It’s a shame, perhaps, but maybe the next production will show me something different.

© 2007 Sheila Evans at

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