Monday, April 02, 2007

Literature, my mistress

Channel hopping on digital radio over the weekend, I came across Kenneth Branagh reading a gem of a short story by Chekhov on Oneword. A little diligence with Project Gutenberg has revealed it as "Misery", you can read it here if you like. I'm familiar with a couple of the plays, but I've never read Chekhov's stories, so I need to add them to the enormous pile of things I intend to get around to.

Casting my mind back Chekovianly, I particularly remember Peter Hall's production of The Seagull at the Old Vic. That was ten years ago according to this Google-sourced snippet. It starred Felicity Kendall as Madame Arkadina. Reading her autobiography when I was in India, picking it up because I knew that she was raised there, I learned that her actor/manager father was dying during the play's run which for me added a sort of retrospective poignancy to her character's relationship with Konstantin. Dominic West of 300 and Voysey Inheritance fame played the son. Round and round and round it goes, and where it stops nobody knows.

Off the the Old Vic again tomorrow for "The Entertainer".

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