To mark the 100th anniversary of Chekhov’s death Wonderland reinvented and reimagined “The Seagull” after Chekhov, as an avant-garde musical, for the ESB Dublin Fringe Festival 2004. This production was a musical work where the story was told less by realistic text based acting and more by music, dance, physical theatre and design, adding to the emotive qualities of Chekhov’s original work. The music was entirely original and composed by Wonderland’s Anna Rice, and was inspired by traditional Russian styles and instrumentation. It was performed live by an on stage cafè style band.
The Seagull After Chekhov was one of the biggest box office performers of Dublin Fringe Festival 2004 and was listed as one of The Top Ten Must See Shows by The Evening Herald. In reviewing the show The Irish Times were impressed ‘by this young company’s enthusiasm, exuberance and talent’ and The Event Guide named The Seagull as ‘one of the great shows of The Fringe.’
The Seagull tells the story of a run down country estate in 1898 outside St Petersburg and the decadent family that lived there. It is a subtle and comic drama of the interactions between characters such as Arkadina, a flamboyant actress and mother of neurotic and failing author Kostya, and also her paramour, the tactless and celebrated writer Trigorin, and Nina, Kostya’s ethereal lover who dreams of fame as an actress in Moscow.