Friday 23 January 1998
Written in 1904, not only is Chekhov's last play a masterpiece, it is unquestionably one of the greatest plays of the century. Which makes it the obvious starting point for the bold, brave new world of Method and Madness. The brainchild of director Mike Alfreds, this company is remarkable for its dedication to actors and text in a culture that's increasingly dominated by splashy but vacuous "event theatre". If that sounds pompous or pious, remember that this is the company who gave us a breathtakingly funny and moving Private Lives, the finest Noel Coward revival of the decade. This new production marks the beginning of an exciting three- year cycle, during which 10 actors will appear in a growing repertory of five plays spanning the present century. The last time Alfreds directed The Cherry Orchard (1985), he won the Olivier Award for Best Director. His lucky actors couldn't be in better hands. The audience, likewise.
Life & Style blogs
What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
From criminal to catwalk: Convict Jeremy Meeks wins modelling contract in the most unusual fashion scouting – behind bars
Holi: Festival of colours honoured with Google Doodle – here's what you need to know about the celebration
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 GamerGate: developer Tim Schafer provokes rage with joke about online gaming activists at industry awards
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