Most nights when I finish up at the theatre, I catch the District line home on the Tube in London, with a change at Hammersmith. There has been a recent change in the advertising posters at the Hammersmith Station, and I can’t help but notice a new production of Anton Chekov‘s The Three Sisters on at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.
In my first year at University – in 1989 when we all still had a personal realtionship with our hair dryers and three kinds of hair styling products – the head of our drama department directed a production of this play. It was, quite possibly, one of the most boring experiences of my theatre going life to date. The direction was lacklustre and dull reducing the play to turgid soap opera. The set design ludicrously unmanageable, setting the actor’s dinner scene way upstage and blocking the sound so that you couldn’t hear them at all. This play is not know for it’s brevity, and at three acts, you can imagine the mass exodus by the first interval, and there generally were not a lot of people left after the second.
As a first year drama student, one of our assignments was to write a theatrical review of this play. We were told in no uncertain terms by our tutor that we were “to find positives” about the production, i.e. no one was to moan what a sack of shite the production was lest they be failed.
When ever I see this poster now all I hear in my head is the brilliant one line review eloquently spoken by my dear friend, Alana.
“Oh for god sake, just go to f#*king Russia!”
And thinking of Alana each time I pass the poster I smile every time, and wished that had been my written review way back when.