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The Seagull

The premiere of The Seagull marked the start of the tradition of staging Chekhov in Czech theatres. The theme chosen by Otomar Krejča was once again the atmosphere of the play – the tension between the characters, their closeness as well as how they passed each other by, and the inability to fulfil their dreams. The stage space with only minimal furnishings was covered in black. The basic and also defining element for this stage design was light – a striplight consisting of low-voltage bulbs equipped with parabolic mirrors was installed across the entire width of the proscenium arch. The streams of light from 300 bulbs created a “curtain of light”, and suffocating heat radiated from the stage into the auditorium. In the second act, Nina, wearing a white pleated dress with wide sleeves swung on a swing – the flickeringly illuminated fluttering dress evoked the impression of a flying seagull.

Anton P. Čechov: THE SEAGULL / RACEK
The National Theatre Prague
premiere: 4. 3. 1960
director: Otomar Krejča
costume designer: Erna Veselá

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