Chekhov through a blender
To get into character for a Chekhovian-flavoured tale of modern life, theatre actress Rachel Henry read a lot of Russian novels.
But you ‘‘don’t need to know Chekhov to enjoy the play’’, she said.
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike had a run on Broadway and picked up many accolades for its comedic flair at depicting the lives of suburban adult siblings Vanya, Masha and Sonia.
For Henry it will be her first performance on stage for almost five years, after she took a break when she had a child.
‘‘It is a lovely feeling actually,’’ Henry said. ’’The Wellington theatre community is like a big family.’’
Despite the less than optimistic Russian world view that inspires the play, Vanya and Sonia is overall a little more light-hearted, Henry said.
‘‘We all find it hilarious, really. One of my favourite things in the world is being in a production that makes people laugh and having a good time.
‘‘Hopefully people think the same.’’
The play is set in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where adult siblings Vanya and Sonia reside in their old family home, mourning their lost dreams and missed opportunities.
When their often-wrong, fortune-telling maid warns of impending dangers, and their movie star sister, Masha, arrives unexpectedly with young, sexy, boy toy, Spike, the family is launched into a rollicking weekend of one-upmanship, exposed nerves, and a lot of broken mugs.
Susan Wilson will direct the local adaptation which she has been looking forward to since it opened in the US and she read the Christopher Durang script.
She describes it as ‘‘Chekhov through a blender.’’
‘‘His play is a comic blender rather than a dramatic blender.’’
The light hearted play takes on universal themes of family relationships, lost love, the yearning for love and the lack of love, Wilson said.
* Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: Hysterical Chekhov character mash-up,
Circa Theatre, August 6 till September 3, Tuesday till Wednesday 6.30pm and Thursday till Saturday 8pm, Sunday 4pm, tickets from $25-$46, contact 04 801 7992 or circa.co.nz.
The character Spike from the play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.