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Benedict Andrews‛ The Seagull: a meditation on the “Great Australian Emptiness” or a cul-de-sac of the ‘real’?

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Benedict Andrews' 2011 production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull

    transposes the provincial isolation of the Russian dramatist's late

    nineteenth century county estate to coastal Australia. In doing so, the

    Australian director, influenced by Patrick White's literary assault on

    the dominant traditions of mid-twentieth century Australia, critiques

    the aesthetic 'realities' of the local theatre landscape. Chekhov's character

    Treplev's quest for "new forms" culminates in the realisation of

    the pragmatic compromises key to building and sustaining a career in

    an artistic profession. In Andrews' production two large scale signs

    consisting of fluorescent bulbs forming the words 'REAL LIFE' constitute

    a graphic, ironic comment on not simply the illusion of life on

    stage, but the problem of artistic fulfilment in contemporary Australia.

    Against an iconic image of isolation, the quintessential Australian

    holiday shack, Andrews' neon reminder of the limits of the theatrical

    medium raises the question of the internationalist aspirations of a

    new generation of artists in Australia.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Hamilton, M. "Benedict Andrews‛ The Seagull: a meditation on the “Great Australian Emptiness” or a cul-de-sac of the ‘real’?." Zeitschrift fuer Australienstudien 27 (2013): 29-47.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1109

Number Of Pages


  • 18

Start Page


  • 29

End Page


  • 47

Volume


  • 27

Place Of Publication


  • Germany

Abstract


  • Benedict Andrews' 2011 production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull

    transposes the provincial isolation of the Russian dramatist's late

    nineteenth century county estate to coastal Australia. In doing so, the

    Australian director, influenced by Patrick White's literary assault on

    the dominant traditions of mid-twentieth century Australia, critiques

    the aesthetic 'realities' of the local theatre landscape. Chekhov's character

    Treplev's quest for "new forms" culminates in the realisation of

    the pragmatic compromises key to building and sustaining a career in

    an artistic profession. In Andrews' production two large scale signs

    consisting of fluorescent bulbs forming the words 'REAL LIFE' constitute

    a graphic, ironic comment on not simply the illusion of life on

    stage, but the problem of artistic fulfilment in contemporary Australia.

    Against an iconic image of isolation, the quintessential Australian

    holiday shack, Andrews' neon reminder of the limits of the theatrical

    medium raises the question of the internationalist aspirations of a

    new generation of artists in Australia.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Hamilton, M. "Benedict Andrews‛ The Seagull: a meditation on the “Great Australian Emptiness” or a cul-de-sac of the ‘real’?." Zeitschrift fuer Australienstudien 27 (2013): 29-47.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1109

Number Of Pages


  • 18

Start Page


  • 29

End Page


  • 47

Volume


  • 27

Place Of Publication


  • Germany