First flight of the Seagull

Today in Literature informs us that it was this day in 1896 that saw the premiere of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull in St. Petersburg. The opening bombed, in a large part because the audience came expecting a conventional farce rather than the type of wordy drama that Chekhov has become famous for. Although driven backstage by the booing and swearing off playwrighting for approximately the next 650 years Chekhov’s fortunes recovered as soon as the next performance. When Stanislavsky directed the play in Moscow two years later with the Moscow Art Theater it was already on its way to becoming a classic.

Read the full story here …

Photos – 1) Anton Chekhov, 1904

2) Director and actor Vsevolod Meyerhold preparing for his role in the Moscow Art Theater 1898 production of The Seagull.

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Categories: Literary History

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