The world premiere of Anya Reiss's adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull, directed by Russell Bolam and starring Matthew Kelly, opens at the Main House, Southwark Playhouse, for a four week run on 12 November with previews from 8 November, 2012.
A successful actress visits her brother's isolated estate far from the city, throwing the frustrated residents unfulfilled ambitions into sharp relief. As her son attempts to impress with a self-penned play, putting much more than his pride at stake, others dream of fame, love and the ability to change their past.
Chekhov's darkly comic masterpiece is reignited for the 21st century by one of the most exciting new voices in British Theatre, Anya Reiss, Winner of Most Promising Playwright at both the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards.
This production, as part of Southwark Playhouse's final season beneath the arches of London Bridge Station, marks Russell Bolam's second play in the Main House this year following the success of Philip Ridley's Shivered. The cast includes Olivier-Award Winner Matthew Kelly as Dorn.
Playwright Anya Reiss wrote her first play when she was 14 before becoming a member of The Royal Court Theatre's Young Writers' Programme. Her debut play, Spur of the Moment (written when she was 17) opened at The Royal Court Theatre in 2010 winning the TMA Award for Best New Play and Anya the Most Promising Playwright Award at both the Evening Standard Awards and at the Critics' Circle Awards. Her second play The Acid Test opened in 2011 again at the Royal Court was also a box office sellout earning rave reviews. Since then she has contributed to the Bush Theatre's Sixty Six Books writing a response to a chapter of the St James Bible and has written Forty Five Minutes for The National Theatre's 2013 Connections Festival.
Director Russell Bolam's theatre credits include Shivered (Southwark Playhouse), The Road to Mecca (Arcola Theatre), The Roman Bath (Arcola Theatre), Captain Oates' Left Sock (Finborough), Three More Sleepless Nights (Tristan Bates Theatre), Fourplay (Tristan Bates Theatre), Fairytaleheart (Old Red Lion) and The Physicists (Aphra Studio). He is currently developing a new site-specific play called The Embassy at The National Theatre Studio.
Matthew Kelly plays Dorn. He trained as an actor at the Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre. Theatre credits include Educating Rita (Menier Chocolate Factory and Edinburgh Festival), Legally Blonde and Spamalot (National Tours), Buried Child (Curve Leicester), Waiting For Godot (Theatre Royal Haymarket and International Tour), Sign Of The Times and Lend Me A Tenor - The Musical (West End), Comedians (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Trafalgar Studios), Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare's Globe), Victory (Arcola), Amadeus (Wilton's Music Hall), Mirandolina (Manchester Royal Exchange), Forgotten Voices (Riverside Studios and Edinburgh Festival), The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella (Southampton), Oh What A Lovely War and Blue Remembered Hills (Octagon Bolton), Endgame (Liverpool Everyman), Don Quixote and Twelfth Night (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Season's Greetings, Twelfth Night (National Tours), The Taming Of The Shrew (Stafford Festival), Kafka's Dick (York Theatre Royal), Rough Crossing (Salisbury and Watford), The Cabinet Of Doktor Caligari (Nottingham Playhouse and Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Funny Peculiar (Liverpool Everyman and West End), Black Comedy and The Private Ear, Babes In Arms, The Pied Piper (National Theatre Tour), The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (Young Vic Company). Matthew won the Best Actor Olivier Award for Of Mice and Men in 2003. Television credits include Cold Blood (Award Winner Royal Television Society Award and New York International Programming), Bleak House, Forensic Casebook, My Family at War, MI High, Benidorm, Agatha Christie's Marple, Casualty, Egypt: The Pharaoh And The Showman, The Temple Of The Sands, City Hopsital, You Bet and Stars In Their Eyes. Film credits include Showreel, Gabrielle And The Doodleman and Tortoise.