Review: Summerfolk, LAMDA at the Pleasance Theatre

Gorky wrote this in the same year as Chekhov wrote the Cherry Orchard and it has a very similar feel. It is the world of the new, educated middle class. All grew up in the working class but now they are doctors, engineers, etc. At the centre are the ‘summerfolk’ staying at their dachas in the country, lazing about, drinking too much, having affairs. In the background are the real workers, the maid on constant call, the watchmen patrolling through the night to protect them from the poor. Gorky has a harder political edge than Chekhov which can get a little heavy handed but this is well worth watching, especially as it is free! LAMDA may be students but they are some our best, many already working professionally. They were very good in this but did not seem quite as home with the period as they were with the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Having just seen my first Gorky play, I’m looking forward to Children of the Sun at the National Theatre next week.

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