Longing: ★★★★ from WhatsOnStage
Posted on 8 March 2013.
Posted in: Theatre Reviews
By Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage
A new Chekhov play, Longing, has been created by novelist William Boyd from two of the Russian author’s short stories and given a wonderfully skilled and well-cast production by Nina Raine that certainly looks Chekhovian.
Designer Lizzie Clachan provides silver birches and sycamore, birdsong (tits and blackbirds), a colourful betrothal party, samovars and brandy bottles, and a delightful summer house in the wooded corner of a run-down country estate.
The play is tilted towards a melancholic nearly-reunion of Kolia and Varia, and it’s expertly, very touchingly played, with no swooning or sentiment, by Glen (last year’s outstanding Uncle Vanya) and Greig. The young girls, too, are exceptionally good, and Cox and Sessions fill out their contrasting studies in irresponsible alcoholic bonhomie and go-getting, landscape-changing interference with great gusto.