CHEKHOV ANECDOTES

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The Independent Culture
Moray House Theatre (venue 168), 37 Holyrood Road (0131-556 0102) 8.35pm; to 27 Aug

Kiev's Theatre on Podol transform Chekhov into slapstick cafe-theatre. Their desire to communicate with an audience with whom they have about four words in common makes for a splendidly unpredictable evening. A young widow sits grieving for her husband while her servant uses all manner of tactics to cheer her up, most of which involve the audience. The landlord arrives and manages to rouse her from her languor. By this time the audience are in it up to their necks. It's wonderfully basic, life-affirming stuff, but feckless audience members beware: it is real vodka in that bottle.

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