Last week I went to a very small and picturesque theatre near to where I live called The Watermill. It’s actually an old converted watermill, right beside a river. As you walk into the auditorium you can still see the old waterwheel through a glass panel, which I really like. I saw Love on the Tracks, a hilarious romantic comedy inspired by the early short stories and farces of Anton Chekhov. The play is set aboard a train in Russia where three extremely eccentric characters find themselves squashed together in a carriage. The three actors play many different characters as they relate their bizarrely funny stories to each other. Through a series of vignettes (short, impressionistic scenes) the audience gradually learns the reason behind their train journey.
The exaggerated characters seemed to all attract a bewildering amount of accidental deaths, affairs, traumatic romances and dysfunctional relationships and I left feeling quite glad that my life was much more placid! The three actors’ ability to play such a myriad of characters was incredibly impressive, making each clearly distinguishable not only through costumes but through accents, facial expressions and body language. The mad humour of the play has made me keen to read some Chekhov myself, although not until my summer exams are far behind me!
I have also convinced myself that it was vaguely relevant to my revision as the ironic humour was quite similar to that of some of the authors, such as George Etherege and Alexander Pope, which I need to know for my Satire to Sensibility exam. I think that’s one little baby step towards being ready for my exam!
P.S. Click here to watch a video of Love on the Tracks rehearsal footage and interviews with the writer and director.