PREVIEW DISCLAIMER: Three Sisters invites the official critics in tomorrow night.
The cast features the reunion of three former members of The EnsembleTM, Mariah Gale as oldest sister Olga, Sam Troughton as the Baron, and Gruffudd Glyn as Fedotik. And designer Johannes Schütz makes them feel at home, with a deep thrust reminiscent of the RSC's stages - made up of small, functional wooden tables, the stage is gradually dismantled over the course of the play. It's perhaps a bit heavy-handed as symbolism goes, but I found it a visually interesting staging. With a large mound of earth at the back, there's something epic to the production at times - modernising the characters' tendency to break into song leads to a grimly intense rendition of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (judging by the murmurs of recognition, I was surprised how long it took much of the audience to twig what the song was; but I guess they're young.) The sometimes apocalyptic feel ties in with the characters' frequent hope of a world two or three hundred years after their deaths where everyone's finally happy: A century after the words were written it's still as far away. Only the climactic duel felt a bit anachronistic to me in this re-setting.
Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov in a version by Benedict Andrews is booking until the 13th of October at the Young Vic.
Running time: 3 hours including interval.