Hare’s adaptation, the best of the three in the Season, is crisp, charming and comical, thereby magnifying the effect of the more tragic aspects. It’s a markedly short version of the play, and Kent assists the understanding of its contours and colours by interposing interval between Acts 3 and 4. This allows the four central characters of the play to stake out their positions, develop their tensions and alliances, their hopes, fears and dreams; by the time the third Act is over, the various dice have been rolled and Act Four, set two years on, is about consequences; chickens – or seagulls – coming home to roost.
Honesty, as David Hare points out, is the dominating theme of Ivanov. It is also the dominating principle adopted by Jonathan Kent as the guiding light for his revival of Ivanov, now playing at the Chichester Festival Theatre as part of their Young Chekhov season. The performances he elicits from the specially formed repertory company are intensely honest, truly felt, and they create a theatrical tapestry which is rich in detail and unsparing in terms of vitality and verity.
Gypsy opened last night in London in front of a star-studded audience and to critical raves. Starring Imelda Staunton as Mamma Rose, Peter Davison as Herbie and Lara Pulver as Louise, London’s original Momma Rose – Angela Lansbury was in the audience. Gypsy is directed by Jonathan Kent, with book by Arthur Laurents, Gypsy has music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, choreography by Stephen Mear, designs by Anthony Ward, musical direction and orchestration by Nicholas Skilbeck, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Paul Groothuis. Read our review for Gypsy. BOOK TICKETS FOR GYPSY
Everyone in this company is superb in their part, everyone can really sing, really dance and really deliver the goods in terms of dramatic and comic acting. This is that rare beast: an exquisitely cast musical where the requirements of the parts have more importance in the casting process than potential box office draw or Twitter popularity. It is difficult to believe that there has ever been a better Rose than Staunton creates here.