The Seagull

Centre Dramatique National de Normandie / Comédie de Caen, Caen, France, 2001
Author: Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
Directed by Eric Lacascade

about the production

Theatre is an instrument of knowledge. It only interests me when it enables me to understand the human machine. And Chekhov is an excellent generator for that. He is fire which bums. A passion which consumes and flickers intimacies on us. We ourselves then become an induction wire receiving impulses, vibrating and transferring them to the audience.

We were rehearsing all three plays at the same time. As baptism by fire. A desire to stay with them for a long time, as long as possible. As a means leading to knowledge, an instrument offered to us by Chekhov himself. Chekhov as a doctor cures the body, Chekhov as an author cures the soul. To be or not to be? And where is our own free will? We keep being attracted somewhere, but where, in fact? Poetry against coincidence? Theatre against live? A personality stifling the soul? The story is somewhere in between. Between the two, between all three. The Seagull is theory, Ivanov an application and The Family Circle an attempt. To be or not to be? And how both to be and to have? "And to be for whom?" asks Chekhov tempted by Shakespeare. I have told you tonight that confession does not have to lead to communion.

Ivanov is the work of youth. I direct The Seagull now, when I am asking myself questions about art and life. My life and my work progress on the stage at the same pace. And that is what The Seagull is all about. The characters are grandchildren and cousins of lvanov, once removed. I do not leave this family; I only extend it a bit. The plays start with failure of young Treplev in love and in his own family. We are there, we participate in this failure and emptiness. How can one go on after all that? How can one live on? How will the others live with that? That is what I wanted to point out, that is why I chose this play. When I was reading it, I was horrified. What about the young Nina, the actress who will live on all that? You would be looking for condemnation in Chekhov in vain. He shows us his heart on his palm and tells us: Look, it is beating! I love all the characters.

Eric Lacascade


adaptation and directed by Eric Lacascade
dramaturgy:  Vladimir Petkov
characters and cast:    
Sorine: Jean Boissery, Chamrayev: Jean-Baptiste Gillet, Arkadina: Muriel Colvez, Dorn: Serge Turpin, Paulina: Arzella Prunennec, Treplev: Christophe Grégoire, Medvedenko: Stéphane Jais, Trigorine: Eric Lacascade, Masha: Christelle Legroux, Nina: Daria Lippi

co-production: Festival ďAvignon, Les Gémaux-Sceaux/Scéne National, Théâtre de Cherbourg/Scéne National , La Rive Gauche, Saint-Etienne du Rouvray, ODACC du Calvados, Festival de Théâtre de la Région Haute-Normandie




Eric Lacascade (1959) 

Director and actor, since 1997 director of Comédie de Caen/Centre Dramatique National de Normandie, supported by the regional directorate of the Ministry of Culture, local and regional self­government and by a 35-strong permanent company. In his method of directing he prefers playing with space, he devotes enough room to experiment and he deals with one piece during an extended period of time. For example, the Chekhov Trilogy (Ivanov / Family Circlefor Three Sisters / The Seagull) presented at the Avignon Festival in 2000, or the triptych On Life, Love and Death, which was an amalgamation of work by Racine, Claudel and Duriť in the 1997/ 1998 season. In his theatre (CND de Normandie) apart from creating new productions and accepting other theatres he has made space for research and reflect1on by establishing Centre for Theatre Research and Experiment (CRET). The Chekhov Trilogy received the Georges Lerminier Prize for best directing outside Paris.