THE SEAGULL, THE NUFFIELD, SOUTHAMPTON
I HAVE never walked out of the theatre in the middle of a performance before, but on Tuesday evening I dearly wanted to.
The contemporary take on Chekov’s The Seagull was, in one word, awful.
A tale of unrequited love, failed ambitions and the pitfalls of success, it contains some dramatic scenes among a host of troubled characters.
But the Headlong company and Nuffield Theatre co-production directed by Blanche McIntyre – hailed as an up and coming theatre presence – lacked any depth at all.
It was as though we were watching a bad school production, made by rebelling teenagers who wanted to shock their audience by sticking in a sex scene, a bit of nudity and littering the dialogue with the F word.
There was no charisma or glamour in Arkadina, no heartfelt anguish from Nina when she returns to Konstantin and no credibility in Trigorin’s insight into the death of the seagull.
These things are always a matter of opinion and the applause and cheers at the end meant others must have enjoyed it.
I spoke to several fellow audience members – one thought the acting superb and the set design fabulous and another that it was enjoyable because it was far easier to understand than another production seen many moons ago, but a third couldn’t hear it properly.
Personally, I can’t recommend it at all.
The Seagull opened at Nuffield Theatre on April 11 and runs until Saturday before going on tour.