text by Anton Chekhov, Ben Kidd and Bush Moukarzel
direction Ben Kidd and Bush Moukarzel
with Dylan Tighe, Ray Scannell, Tara Egan-Langley, Breffni Holahan, Clara Simpson, Liam Carney
set Design Andrew Clancy
effects and onstage design Grace O’Hara
costumes Saileóg O’Halloran
light Stephen Dodd
sound design Jimmy Eadie and Kevin Gleeson
choreography Liv O’Donoghue

developed with the help of Battersea Arts Centre
co-commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre and Irish Arts Center
co-production Dublin Theatre Festival, Baltoscandal and TnBA
project co-produced by NXTSTP, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

Kindly supported by Culture Ireland


Running time 1h and 10′
National Première
in English with Italian subtitles

“I’m having absolutely nothing to do with the theatre or the human race. They can all go to hell.”
Anton Chekhov

During the turmoil of the Russian Revolution in 1917, Maria Chekhov, Anton’s sister, placed many of her late brother’s manuscripts and papers in a safety deposit box in Moscow.
In 1921 Soviet scholars opened the box, and discovered a play. The title page was missing. The play they found has too many characters, too many themes, too much action. All in all, it’s generally dismissed as unstageable. Like life.

This brilliant adaptation of Chekhov’s Platonov by the Dublin-based Dead Centre manages to revive the play in a version where the audience, provided with headsets, can listen in real-time to the directors’ commentaries about the plot.
With Chekhov’s First Play, Dead Centre has revived the Russian author’s first great play, Platonov. In this version, the audience are provided with headsets and can listen in real-time to the directors’ commentaries about the plot. Centred on the overbearing absence of the eponymous character – and an unexpected turn of events – the brilliant and spirited direction transfers Chekhov’s critical lucidity onto our present-day society and its theatre.

Dead Centre, creators of the OBIE award-winning LIPPY (winner of a Fringe First, Herald Angel Award and the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Production), return to do injustice to a great playwright. Chekhov before he was Chekhov.

“An essay on Chekhov, theatre and life. Deeply moving.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Berlin

“A brilliant endeavour. Riveting to watch.”
Irish Times, Dublin

“An iconoclastic and joyful version of Platonov. Returns us to the essence of theatre.”
Le Monde, Paris