Ivanov, a driving force in local government and a visionary landowner, feels burnt out at thirty-five. Once the pioneer of scientific farming methods and of education for peasants, he now drowns in bureaucracy and debt, his large estate neglected. While his wife is dying, Sacha, a young, educated woman, falls in love with Ivanov and determines to save him. Set in a country suffering from political, ideological and spiritual stagnation, Chekhov's first full-length play anticipates the explosive revolutionary atmosphere of Russia at the turn of the century. Production at the National Theatre (Cottesloe) in September 2002.
"""...as intimate and subtly plotted as a piece of chamber music"" Rachel Halliburton, The Evening Standard ""a play often patronised as an immature melodrama, one that Chekhov himself described as ""a pudding"", has the quirkiness, the subtlety, the unpredictable touches of human truth we associate with the great works that followed."" Benedict Nightingale, The Times "