Tšehov-konsepti. Kuva: Ella Tommila

Chekhov concept. Photo: Ella Tommila

Chekhov concept

The Chekhov concept explores the act of performing Chekhov today.

What is the significance of Chekhov, post-dramatic theatre? What would conceptual Chekhov look like? And what if the Seagull was approached, not as a play, but as a text, a series of images, a pile of paper or as performance art? The cast gather to read Chekhov and consider longing, the passage of time and the concept of European realism, both then and now. Using Chekhov’s works as a starting point, the ideas they engender are brought to reflect on the present day.

In the show, Chekhov is approached through realism and nostalgia. Stage representations of Chekhov are associated with porches, lace curtains and endless cups of tea as time passes and people sigh. Chekhov in theatre represents nostalgia: a series of fully-drawn characters, with both plot and narrative proceeding uninterrupted. In his time, Chekhov was a representative of realism. Today, realism equals a constant flow of news images and an unstoppable flood of information. What does this have to do with early 20th century realism?

Pilvi Porkola is a performing arts professional, writer and academic. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Theatre Academy Helsinki. Her thesis, ”Notes on politics, documenting and the personal in performance” explores art and the everyday, the everyday as an aesthetic practice and the political dimension of performance in our time.

Concept and direction: Pilvi Porkola
On stage: Niko Rajala, Sirja Sauros, Tuire Tuomisto and Pilvi Porkola

Chekhov club night at Finnish National Theatre's Lavaklubi, 28 February, 20:00.