Review of 'Ivanov' by Anton Chekhov, National Theatre, London
It is easy to dismiss Ivanov, alongside Chekhov's other plays, as being full of melancholy middle class moaners who need a kick up the backside. Easy but, I think, a mistake.
The play starts in the house of Nikolai Ivanov, who owns some land and is a smalltime local politician. He has fallen on hard times, and is reduced to juggling his debts and wondering how he can survive. He lives with his uncle, a minor aristocrat who has blown everything except his title, and his wife, who has been disowned by her family.