Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Chekhov Bonanza

Anton Chekhov's 150th anniversary (born 17 January 1860), is marked by literary and theatre events throughout the world. BBC's Radio 4 has selected five short stories, possibly the best ever written, for the brilliant dramatisation by Martyn Wade. They were broadcast as a series 'About Love' even though the short story which gave the series its title, itself, sadly, is not included in the five. 
The BBC has a Listen Again feature which allows a replay of programmes for seven days. They are available as I write, but I do hope the series would also be available as podcasts or downloads. 
My personal favourite is Rothschild's Violin, and The Lady with the Little Dog a close second. Here are the links to Radio 4 Chekhov dramatisations.
About love, Anton Chekhov, five short stories dramatised by Martyn Wade. 
Read "О любви" in Russian here

Rothschild's Violin ("Скрипка Ротшильда", text in Russian)

The Lady with the Little Dog  ("Дама с собачкой",  русский текст)

The Huntsman ("Егерь", русский текст)

The Black Monk ("Черный монах",  текст на русском)

The Man in a Case ("Человек в футляре", русский текст)

A few years ago the Russian avant-garde theatre director Kama Ginkas from Moscow staged three of the five stories at Yale University theatre - 'Black Monk', 'The Lady with the Little Dog' and 'Rothschild's Violin'. He gave the cycle a different title: 'Life Is Beautiful'. (A review in the 'Chayka/Seagull' magazine)

A group of British actors and Chekhov experts are raising funds to help repair and conserve the famous White Dacha - Chekhov's house and garden in the Crimea. Go to their web-site Yalta Chekhov Campaign for details of events and how to help. I posted about the campaign in "Тетрадки".

Photo from Yandex: Chekhov visits Tolstoy in the Crimea, 1901. Photo by Sofia Tolstaya, the writer's wife, was made into a post-card. 2010 also marks one hundred years since Tolstoy's death.

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