The action takes place by a lake. A tight-knit community has gathered in the countryside to attend the performance by young author, Konstantin Gavrilovitch Treplev, who dreams of a new theatre. Also on stage is his mother and famous actress, Arkadina, accompanied by her lover Trigorin, a well-known writer. Everyone is waiting for Nina's arrival - whom Treplev has passionately fallen in love with – a young actress who performs a strange play about the afterlife, a parched, dried out land "where all living beings have been reduced to scattered ashes".
The vision of the young Treplev at the beginning of Chekov's play seems to come from the afterlife, from an underworld, to address the living: "Life has to be portrayed not as it is or as it should be, but as it can be represented in a dream." That vision is the landscape in which Arthur Nauzyciel's production unfurls. The Seagull reads like a melancholy ball, where the memories and disillusions blend with silent sufferings, in a dance circle of impossible love stories. Life itself is at stake, in the hope that love, art and ideal will help to elevate man, "to rise above the earth, as far away as possible, above", and more simply help him to live.
Running time : 220 mins incl interval
Text by Anton Tchekhov
Direction and adaptation : Arthur Nauzyciel
Set : Riccardo Hernandez
Lighting : Scott Zielinski
Sound : Xavier Jacquot
Choreography : Damien Jalet
Costumes : José Lévy
Masks : Erhard Stiefel
Music : Winter Family et Matt Elliott
Cast : Marie-Sophie Ferdane, Xavier Gallais, Vincent Garanger, Benoit Giros, Adèle Haenel, Mounir Margoum, Laurent Poitrenaux, Dominique Reymond, Emmanuel Salinger, Catherine Vuillez and English singer Matt Elliott.
Translated from Russian by André Markowicz and Françoise Morvan (Actes Sud, 1996)
Production : Centre Dramatique National Orléans/Loiret/Centre
Coproduction : Festival d'Avignon ; Région Centre ; CDDB—Théâtre de Lorient, CDN ; Théâtre de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Scène nationale ; Maison des Arts de Créteil ; Le Parvis, Scène nationale Tarbes-Pyrénées ; Le Préau Centre Dramatique Régional de Basse-Normandie, Vire ; le phénix, Scène nationale de Valenciennes ; MCB° Bourges, Scène nationale ; Théâtre National de Norvège ; France Télévisions.
With the support of Ville d’Orléans and Institut Français.
The set has been built in the workshops of the MCB° Bourges, Scène nationale.
With the participation of the atelier Caraco Canezou for the costumes.