"I’m having absolutely nothing to do with the theatre or the human race. They can all go to hell." - Anton Chekhov

A Dead Centre and Battersea Arts Centre Co-production

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This isn't your ordinary Chekhov play. Take a seat and put on your headphones. As the action begins to unfold the director has something to say...

During the turmoil of the Russian Revolution in 1917, Maria Chekhov, Anton’s sister, placed many of her late brother’s manuscripts and papers in a safety deposit box in Moscow. In 1921 Soviet scholars opened the box and discovered a play.

The title page was missing. The play they found has too many characters, too many themes, too much action. All in all, it’s generally dismissed as unstageable. Like life.

Following the critically acclaimed Lippy (Young Vic), Dead Centre present this deconstructed and absurd take on Chekhov's First Play exploring the essence of Chekhov and performance itself.

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"A perceptive and funny dismantling of theatre"

★★★★★ The Stage

"Riveting. Takes a wrecking ball to theatrical convention"

"A brilliant endeavour... Less of an adaptation than an ambush" 

★★★★ The Irish Times

"Dazzlingly strange... a dusty play made diamond-sharp" 

★★★★ Time Out

"A pure theatrical thrill-ride"

★★★★ The Guardian

Behind The Scenes

Watch the trailer here:

Production images:

Chekhov's First Play - 2019


Chekhov's First Play


Northern Stage is fully accessible. The theatre has three lifts providing access to all parts of the building, including the accessible toilets, baby changing facilities, stages 2 & 3 and the backstage area. Buggy parking is available outside Stage 3. To discuss any access needs, please call our Box Office on 0191 230 5151.