Three Sisters at Wyndham’s Theatre
Moscow’s Mossovet State Academic Theatre’s first UK tour gives Londoners the chance to see their rendition of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters. The play takes place in early 20th century Russia, in a small provincial town. The story begins on the anniversary of the sisters’ father’s death, which also coincides with youngest sister Irina’s naming day. A party is being held at the family’s house to celebrate.
Olga, the oldest of the silly sisters, is a lonely and neurotic woman who has taken on the role of mother to her sisters. She spends her time teaching at the local school, but what she really wishes from life is to find a husband to be good and loyal to. Masha, the middle sister, has fallen into bitterness because of the flawed romance of her marriage: her husband is not quite the man she thought he was when she was young. When she meets Lieutenant-Colonel Vershinin, it is only a matter of time before she falls in love and they start an affair.
The youngest of the siblings is Irina, an optimistic girl with big hopes and dreams about love and the future. She is over 20 years old, yet still expresses her childish nature. Despite her immature mind she attracts attention from multiple men asking for her love, but she never manages to summon the love she dreams of for any of them.
The brother to the three is also a tragic character, ending up a drunkard when his marriage does not turn out the way he planned.
As it sets off at the party, Three Sisters seems to be a comedy about a group of privileged people with no worries in the world. As it evolves it becomes darker; more obscure parts of the characters’ personalities are revealed and it becomes clear that every person has a burden to carry. Their misery is individual, and the characters all question the meaning of life and their pain, yet all seem to share a hope that their sufferings and work will lead to a better life for someone else in the future, hundreds or maybe thousands of years on.
Dull as it opens, Three Sisters ends powerfully. It is a wake-up call to the viewer: to live life to the full and take chances to achieve your dreams.
Three Sisters is at Wyndham’s Theatre until 3rd May 2014. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.