Author: Anton P. Chekhov. Adaptation and direction: Luk Perceval. Dramaturgy: Koen Haagdorens. Cast: Elsie de Brauw, Briek Lesage, Katrin Lohmann, Bert Luppes, Peter Seynaeve, Zoë Thielemans, Frank Focketyn, Steven Van Watermeulen and Laura Mentink.
Chekhov wrote this play when he was just 18 years old, giving it the form of an experimental piece lasting nearly eight hours. Flemish director Luk Perceval has condensed the play, eliminating half of the characters. In Perceval’s version, nine actors and a pianist who makes musical comments on the scenes portray a series of solitary characters, telling us what each expects from love. It all begins with Platonov about to commit suicide – a change from the original version, in which he murders a female character. And so begins a journey through the events that lead up to the protagonist’s death, during which we will meet Anna Petrovna, a widow who once more invites her friends to celebrate the arrival of spring with her.
Nausea, despair and self-destruction infuse this new production from a director who began reworking the classics using plain language in the 1980s. Perceval’s renown has grown in recent years, and he's considered an iconic figure in European theatre.