Edinburgh Fringe 2013
"Chekhov’s characters are stranded, waiting and wanting something outside of themselves. Something to give them happiness…
In this eagerly anticipated new work, Theatre Movement Bazaar dramatically derails Chekhov’s Three Sisters from its Victorian origins with exhilarating movement, dance, song and humour, setting the itinerary for a 21st-century existential extravaganza." From the company that we gave an award to for Anton’s Uncles.
Inspired by Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, Theatre Movement Bazaar are back on the Fringe after their multi-award winning Anton’s Uncles and here we have a larger cast, though a welcome, familiar feeling in the writing and company style. Writer Richard Alger is now a seasoned transposer of Chekhov’s work – he knows what he is doing, and Tina Kronis knows just what to do with that finely crafted writing.
Busy, detailed and inventive physical theatre lies at the core of this company’s work and, over the years, they have rendered and reimagined all of Chekhov’s plays. This production arrives here in collaboration with Greenwich theatre.
To assess this work I have to confess to being a fan. But it is my task and responsibility too see past that partiality and review this in spite of that.
So what of Track 3 ? What of the writing ? And what of the choreography ? How well has this been realised?
The Bedlam is a decent place for this production with a fairly generous stage in terms of the theatre capacity. Three chairs await us on stage as we enter the theatre. Once again we have no over-fussy staging here. Some accordion evokes the right mood and we begin. A set piece to a honky tonk piano warmed and inducted us with humour into the mood right from the start. The three sisters are with us.They are a six legged beast at the start, six pairs of eyes, looking with hope and disappointment at the world. Moscow is a distant dream, mediocrity and stagnation their too well known territory.
The humour is often delicate and delicious, a visual joke from a look, and a vocal backing loaded with irony. Physcal set pieces and episodes make up a not always easy to follow narrative. The action tends to converge on the story rather than follow anything too linear, though the story becomes clearer as the hour progresses.
Brimming with energy, physical inventiveness, ensemble excellence and sharp comedy this is an unmissable production. As with Anton’s Uncles it is a delight to watch, to savour, to laugh at, to lead forward in order not to miss a beat.
The only thing more than a man is a woman. How will these three sisters fare in a time when there’s a tornado called "progress" coming to meet them ? Angst and regret, folorn hopes and fantasy. Will the sisters escape into something lighter, richer, better?
I saw this early in the run. Some of the performers seemed a bit hesitant in timing their movement with unpredictable audience laughter (of which there was much), so there were a few stumbles. Also, in places, it didn’t all join up as tightly as it should. I’m sure this will all settle quickly as the run progresses.
This is a raucous, sumptuous production that stands out on so many levels. This is rich comedy, laced with sadness and regret. Stifled, the sisters dream of Moscow. We follow them and their community. We become immersed in their world, their feelings – and this is all achieved through quality writing, choreography, and hugely skilled performances.
This is lush physical theatre, fast paced. Production values are higher than Everest and scene and sound transitions are almost an extra stellar character in the production.
The language is given a modern twist with mention and appearance of mobile phones and yet the evocation of Chekhov’s is lovingly preserved.
Is the collusion of mediocrity breaking in this town of unfulfilled hopes and dreams ? Or is the emptiness simply reaching a tipping point ? Track 3 is finest quality physical theatre, settling well into the Bedlam space. I recommend this excellent work. I bet a hundred roubles it sells out, as it deserves to do. So grab a ticket to for Track 3 as soon as you can.