reviewed by Paula Citron
Stratford Festival 2009
Written by Anton Chekhov (adapted by Susan Coyne)
Directed by Martha Henry
Starring Irene Poole, Lucy Peacock and Dalal Badr
At the Tom Patterson Theatre until Oct. 3
The Stratford Festival’s production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters is absolutely harrowing. Martha Henry proves once again that she is an actor’s director with superb performances on all counts.
Irene Poole as a resigned Olga, Lucy Peacock as a coiled spring Masha and Dalal Badr as a charmingly innocent Irina lead a strong cast which really tries to put fresh perspective on Chekhov’s tangled web of relationships. The audience is put through an emotional wringer.
As the men in their lives, Gordon S. Miller, Peter Hutt, Tom McCamus, Sean Arbuckle, James Blendick and Juan Chioran all give accomplished interpretations. Kelli Fox is a particularly venal sister-in-law Natasha.
Mounting the play in the Tom Patterson Theatre makes for a more intimate encounter with the audience and Henry’s acumen as a sensitive director is absolutely confirmed by this production. It is a run don’t walk if you like your theatre to be an intense experience.
Three Sisters continues at Stratford’s Tom Patterson Theatre until Oct. 3.