“The antiquated, scoial, cultural context of Chekov’s the three sisters, set in Russia at the turn of the 19th century and its tragi-comic style are no longer relevant to a modern audience” In light of the above statement, discuss what points you would consider if you were playing the role of Irina in the three sisters in order to communicate the message effectively in performance to the audience. The above statement in basically saying that when performing the three sisters to a modern audience, the style of tragedy and comedy combined are not going to appeal to the modern audience.
During this essay I am going to consider how I would play the role of Irina in a way that the audience can fully understand Chekov’s tragic-comic style. Irina is the youngest of the 3 sisters, though she is twenty she is still treated like the baby of the family, as though she was still a child. ‘Your’e used to seeing me as a child So then you find it odd when I look serious I’m twenty’ Irina passiontly wants to work, this is her super objective, its what drives her to carry on rather than being pushed into the role of a typical aristocrat young lady who “rises a 12 and takes two hours to dress”
‘Work that’s what we must do- work … We were born of people who despised it’ tradionally on stage Irina is dressed in all white, a colour of pure innocene and nievity. Another passion that irina carries is the one that she shares with her sisters to go to Moscow. The basis for the relationshio between Irina and Tusenbach starts in Act 1 when Tusenbach declares his love for her ‘… My love for you, Irina. And you’re beautiful- It’s as if you were taunting me’
Chekhov’s style of tragic-comic playwriting was an original style of writing for him to explore and at the time of him writing this play, it would not have been seen as antiquate. Antiquated means “too old to be fashionable, suitable or useful” an example of this is when Chekhov puts a joke or comical act in the middle of a characters speech which contains depth and passion, this si used to break the seriousness of the play and keep the audiences spirits high.
I believe that Chekhov did not want to make the audience think about it to much so that it brought them down into a depressive mood, though his plays did cover quite serious and dark topics such as family deaths, affairs and scandals. An example of when Chekhov did this is in Act 1, Vershinin, a solider who has come to visit the three sister, is telling them how wonderful it is where they live and that they should appreciate it more and not be so desperate to go to Moscow, he then comes up with the though of why the station is so far out of town, at this point Solyony enters and says;
‘I know why. Because if the station Were near then it wouldn’t be Far and if it’s far then naturally It can’t be near’ To enable the audience to understand fully the extent of the embarrassment this would have caused for the three sisters, ( they were at this point trying to impress Vershinin) to get this message across as Irina I would close up by body language to demonstrate embarrassment, by crossing legs, folding arms and turning away from Solyony
For the style of Chekhov to be fully appreciated by the audience, some of the references would have to be emphasised or changed. Also the actor would have to carefully plan all movements and posture. Irina is the youngest of the three sisters, and the tone of her voice going to play quite a large part in showing the audience her character in a way that would show Chekhov’s style.
If I were to play the role of Irina I would give her voice an aristocratic tone, so that her position and class is fully understood by the audience. This would help people to understand how she is feeling, when she talks to Tusenbach in Act 1, she is full of passion and desire because of her want to work, she say’s “work that’s what we must do work” emphasis should be placed on the work to show the audience how much she wants to work, this would help to show the tragedy of it.