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Chekhov Plays: The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, the Cherry Orchard, and Four Vaudevilles

Chekhov Plays: The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, the Cherry Orchard, and Four Vaudevilles
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Sale Price: $19.96 CDN
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Author: Anton Chekhov
Translated by: Michael Frayn
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 384
Pub. Date: 1993
ISBN-10: 041318160X
ISBN-13: 9780413181602
on sale

About the Plays:

HARD TO FIND BOOK, only a very limited number of copies are still available.

The reputation of Anton Chekhov as one of the greatest precursors of modern drama rests largely on these four masterpieces: The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard. Haunting and elusive, these four masterpieces have found in Michael Frayn a translator who perfectly captures their delicate balance of the tragic and the absurd.

The Seagull is a full-length comedy about the battle for power between a mother and her son that ends in tragedy. (Cast: 5 women, 8 men).

Uncle Vanya is a full-length drama that tells of two obsessive love affairs that lead nowhere, and a flirtation that brings disaster. A loosely structured family are facing breakdown under mounting pressures of the world around them, none more than the eponymous Uncle Vanya. A middle-aged man in a crisis of values, he is further threatened by dispossession at the hands of his brother-in-law. Passions run high, compounded by idle intrigues of unrequited love. (Cast: 4 women, 6 men).

Three Sisters is a full-length drama in which three siblings wrestle with their futures. The Prozorov sisters, Olga, Masha and Irina, dream of freedom, sex, romance and Moscow. Two figures appear in their lives. Vershinin, the new battery commander, has hopes of a better future for mankind. Natasha, a local woman, has hopes of a better future for herself. Each will transform the Prozorov family. A complex lattice of stories works itself out, bringing reward to some, despair to others. (Cast: 5 women, 9 men).

The Cherry Orchard is a full-length tragi-comedy — Chekhov's last and perhaps most popular play — the Gayev family is torn by powerful forces deeply rooted in history and the society in which they live. Their estate is hopelessly in debt and when urged to cut down their beautiful cherry orchard and sell the land for holiday cottages, they are confronted by an impossible decision (Cast: 5 women, 9 men).

The volume also contains four of Chekhov's early one-act plays "vaudevilles" (The Evils of Tobacco, Swan Song, The Bear, and The Proposal) as well as a substantial introduction by Michael Frayn who is now considered the foremost translator of Chekhov in the English language.

What people say:

"The critical clamour for a Complete Chekhov in Michael Frayn's translation has borne fruit." — Sunday Times

About the Playwright:

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904) was the author of hundreds of short stories and several plays and is regarded by many as both the greatest Russian storyteller and the father of modern drama. From Chekhov, many contemporary playwrights have learnt how to use mood, apparent trivialities and inaction to highlight the internal psychology of characters. His plays, including The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard, are among the most widely performed in the world.

Michael Frayn has written plays, novels, and screenplays, in addition to being a journalist, documentary filmmaker, and translator of Chekhov. His thirteen plays include Copenhagen, which was awarded the Tony Award for Best Play, as well as the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards and, in the United Kingdom, the Olivier and Evening Standard awards. His novel Headlong was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Born in London in 1933 and educated at Cambridge, Frayn is married to the biographer and critic Claire Tomalin; they live in London.

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