“If there was only one director I had to work with for the rest of my career, it would be Ian Rickson.”
– Ellen Burstyn, Academy Award Winning Actress
Ian is regarded as one of the greatest directors working in the theatre today and was the Artistic Director of the prestigious Royal Court Theatre in London from 1998-2006.
This half-day masterclass is an opportunity for actors and directors to learn from Ian, as he directs four accomplished Australian actors in the exploration of Chekhov’s The Seagull. This is not a performance; it is an exploratory masterclass conducted in a rehearsal environment.
Ian will interact with the observing actors and directors to illuminate the meaning of the play, and specifically the two chosen scenes. As such, we encourage you to read the play.
The scenes to be performed and explored are from Christopher Hampton’s translation of the play.
1. Act III scene between Arkadina and Konstantin
2. Act IV, scene between Nina and Konstantin
Anton Chekhov is without doubt one of the most influential writers for the theatre of all time. His plays are as relevant today as they were when they were first performed. His characters are universal. Chekhov’s writing continues to resonate because he presents the human condition in all its beauty, vulnerability, longing, absurdity and humour. His characters can laugh and cry in the same sentence and consequently so can we, his audience.
It was through Chekhov’s work that modern theatre was born. Chekhov’s influence on Konstantin Stanislavski, who revolutionised the art of acting, was profound. This influence stemmed from their collaboration on The Seagull.
The world of turn-of-the-century Russia can seem so far removed from our own that we miss the relationships and psychological yearnings of Chekhov’s characters and forget that these real people are not so different as we think. Through this Masterclass, Ian will reveal the depth of The Seagull, which retains its power to command our imagination and move us deeply.
*To read more on Chekhov, The Seagull and modernist theatre, a great resource is The Modernism Lab at Yale wiki
This acclaimed Masterclass was recently held at The Haymarket in London and was attended by over 300 actors.
Ian was Artistic Director at the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006, during which time he directed Harold Pinter in Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, The Winterling, Alice Trilogy, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Fallout, The Night Heron, Boy Gets Girl, Mouth to Mouth (West End), Dublin Carol, The Weir (West End & Broadway),The Lights, Pale Horse and Mojo (also at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago), Ashes & Sand, Some Voices and Killers.
His last production for the Royal Court, The Seagull starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan, transferred to Broadway.
Other theatre credits include a critically acclaimed production of Hamlet, the Olivier and Tony Award winning production of Jerusalem (Royal Court, West End & Broadway), Pinter’s Betrayal, The Children’s Hour with Ellen Burstyn, Keira Knightly and Elizabeth Moss, The Hothouse, The Day I Stood Still, Parlour Song, Hedda Gabler (Broadway), The House of Yes and Me & My Friend.
His film credits include Fallout, Krapp’s Last Tape and The Clear Road Ahead.
Don’t miss this very special one-off masterclass.