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  • Miles Hedley


Anton Chekhov may be best known as a chronicler of tragedy but even amid the despair he will always find moments of comedy. It’s even truer in his short stories which are often close to farce, despite the sense of impending doom that underlies them.

Dragonboy Production’s literary adaptation of five of these stories at Greenwich Theatre absolutely proved the point. All the interlinking tales sparkled with wonderful comedic touches but the characters’ desperation was never far from the surface.

The cast of In And Out Of Chekhov’s Shorts played a blinder, by and large maintaining the delicate balance between laughter and tears with great aplomb, although they sometimes tried a little too hard with the slapstick sequences. They also showed off their considerable musical skills to great effect, giving life to Tom Neill’s fine Russian-sounding score.

Neill himself was among the cast, alongside adapter/director Eliot Giuralarocca, Graeme Dalling, Laura Singleton and, making an assured professional debut, Russian Elisabeth Snegir (pictured above with Giuralarocca).

This was a witty, whip-smart production by a talented company who thoroughly deserved the applause they were given at the end. But they also deserved a much larger audience than the one I was part of.


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