On the 17th and 18th of October, GCSE and A Level Theatre Studies students visited the Lyric Hammersmith in London after school and watched The Seagull. Faced with the prospect of making notes through a three hour performance seemed rather daunting at first, however we soon found that the show’s emotional themes and ongoing humour kept it very enjoyable and interesting.
Anton Chekhov critically analyses the subject of love and the despair and destruction of unrequited love. In what was a darkly comic show, the Lyric Hammersmith managed to refresh Chekhov's masterpiece by reimagining it in the modern day, leaving behind its Russian roots. During the show, we had each a role in our own groups whereby we analysed different parts of it. For example, I chose to focus on the main character of Nina throughout the show and evaluate how the acting made each character’s performance so effective. The show’s strong sense of black comedy throughout proves today that there is still much conflict where there should be love, and still many issues regarding mental health. The performance really emphasised this message, whilst retaining this sense of drama that the audience then receives in its more shocking moments.
From its comic timing, its focus on individual soliloquy and even its discussion on topical issues like mental health, the terrific cast brought about a stirring and truly heart-wrenching production. For a first theatre trip at GCSE level for many of us, it certainly exceeded all expectations! Thanks are owed to the Theatre Studies team for giving us the opportunity to watch this production, stunningly adapted through the Lyric.