translated by David Hare
Anton Chekhov is one of the undisputed masters of world drama. He is usually thought to hide himself behind his characters and stories, keeping his own personality well off-stage. But when he was young he wrote three plays - Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull - which, with their thrilling sunbursts of youthful anger and romanticism, reveal a very different playwright from the one known by his mature, more familiar work.
These three blazing dramas, in versions by internationally acclaimed dramatist David Hare, offer the chance to explore the birth of a revolutionary dramatic voice. Each shows a writer progressively freeing himself from the constraints of nineteenth-century melodrama and heralds the shift into the twentieth century, and the birth of the modern stage.
Ivanov premiered as part of the Young Chekhov season at the Chichester Festival Theatre in the autumn of 2015. The plays transferred to National Theatre in the summer of 2016.
Nikolai Ivanov is only 35, a radical and a romantic, but already he’s feeling that he’s thrown his life away. Determined not to become a small-town Hamlet, he hopes one last desperate romance may save him from a society rotten with anti-Semitism and drink.