Written by Anton Chekov, translated by Ronald Hingley

Directed by David Giles

Ian McKellen in the role of Kruschov (The Wood Demon)

UK Tour/Edinburgh '73, BAM, Wimbledon

21 August 1973 - 13 April 1974

Comments and Reviews

A romantic, funny play, Chekhov's early masterpiece was rediscovered by the Actors' Company.

In repertory with WAY OF THE WORLD:

21-24 August 1973: Nottingham Playhouse

27 August - 8 September 1973: Lyceum (Edinburgh International Festival)

13-19 September: Arts, Cambridge

24-26 September 1973: Theatre Royal, Brighton

1-13 October: Theatre Royal, Bath

18-20 October: Kingston-upon-Hull

25-27 October 1973: Theatre Royal, Norwich

1-7 November 1973: Opera House, Manchester

12-24 November: Royal Court, Liverpool

In repertory with WAY OF THE WORLD, KNOTS, and KING LEAR

29 January - 17 February 1974: Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York


11-16 March; 8-13 April 1974: Wimbledon Theatre

"Dazzling Actors' Company production" — Times

"There is in it much of that uneventful summer sunshine that makes the heart ache with its happiness." — Sunday Times

From the 1974 program:

The Actors' Company made its first appearances at the Edinburgh Festival in 1972. Formed by a group of actors who wished to be totally involved in the artistic management of a theatrical organisation, the Company makes its own policy on the basis of Company meetings and majority decisions. It is a theatrical democracy. The result has been to break down the barriers between "leading" and "supporting" actors; in the Actors' Company all actors play small parts from time to time and all the roles are cast from experienced actors. There has been general acclaim for the quality of the productions which have resulted.

After the 1972 Festival, the Actors' Company toured nationally before giving a six-week season in Cambridge. The group then disbanded to allow members to accept other engagements, but continued to meet to plan their next season. In 1973, in spite of all the pressures on Company members to accept more lucrative or prestigious offers, the majority of that same Company assembled for a further season.

The possibility of a group of actors working together for years rather than weeks is now open. Ensemble theatre of this kind is taken for granted on the continent but represents a new and exciting venture in this country: the consequences are unpredictable. Already the Company is anxious to explore new ways of working together and will this year be presenting studio productions of two new plays.


Banner photo: Theatre Poster


Full Cast List


Next Play: KNOTS