Cate Blanchett on Broadway

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Australian actress Cate Blanchett, winner of many awards including two Oscars, three Golden Globe Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards,three BAFTA awards and six AACTA Awards to debut on Broadway.

In December 2016 Blanchett will star at “Present” the new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play, written by the author at the age of 18, most commonly referred to as “Platonov“.

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The play is adapted by Andrew Upton, who together with wife Cate Blanchett led Sydney Theatre Company from 2008 until 2013 and was responsible for the productions of “A Streetcar Named Desire” (BAM, 2009) and “Uncle Vanya” (Lincoln Center Festival, 2012).

The story unfolds over a weekend birthday celebration of a widow Anna Petrovna in the Russian countryside. In the new adaptation, the play is set post-Perestroika in the 1990s. At the centre of the story is Platonov, a disillusioned provincial school master, with his wife, friends and their partners. The group may appear comfortable, but is tormented inside by secret feelings, regrets and denial.

“Present” Sydney 2015, photo: Lisa Tomasseti

In 1984 an English novelist and playwright Michael Frayn, considered to be Britain’s finest translator of Anton Chekhov, adapted his first untitled work commonly referred to as “Platonov” and titled it “Wild Honey“. His adaptation staged by National Theatre and starring Ian McKellen won three Olivier Awards in three categories.

Chekhov on Broadway. Ian McKellen as Platonov
Chekhov on Broadway. Ian McKellen as Platonov

The play then was staged at New York’s Virginia Theatre in December 1986 with McKellen repeating his title role co-starring an American cast which included Kim Cattrall (“Sex and the city”) and Kate Burton (“Good Wife”, “Scandal”).

This autumn National Theatre presented a fresh  adaptation of three Chekhov’s plays “Ivanov”, “Seagull” and “Platonov” starring Scottish actor James McArdle.

National Theatre. Play
National Theatre. Play “Platonov” 2016

Director of the “Present” play by Sydney Theatre Company on Broadway is an Irish film and theatre director  John Crowley (“Brooklyn”) has already commented the adaptation as “Very very Chekhov”.

On stage at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre from the 17th of December 2016 until the 19th of March 2017.  

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