★★★★ The Times
★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ The Telegraph
★★★★ Whatsonstage
★★★★ One Stop Arts
★★★★ Everything Theatre
★★★★ The Public Reviews
★★★★ FourthWall

‘emotionally honest and heartfelt… a terrific cast. It’s another Southwark hit’ The Times
‘in a year of remarkable Chekhov revivals, this Seagull flies with the best’ The Guardian
‘fresh, colloquial, sexy and downright perceptive.’ The Telegraph

“We need the theatre, couldn’t, couldn’t do without it. Could we?”

A successful actress visits her brother’s isolated estate far from the city, throwing the frustrated residents unfulfilled ambitions into sharp relief. As her son attempts to impress with a self-penned play, putting much more than his pride at stake, others dream of fame, love and the ability to change their past.

Chekhov’s darkly comic masterpiece is ignited for the 21st century by one of the most exciting new voices in British Theatre, Anya Reiss, Winner of the Most Promising Playwright at both the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle awards.

This production, as part of Southwark Playhouse’s final season beneath the arches of London Bridge Station, marks Russell Bolam’s second play in the Main House this year following the success of Philip Ridley’s Shivered. The cast includes Olivier-Award Winner Matthew Kelly as Dorn.

Cast and Creative

Creative Team

Russell Bolam

Jean Chan

Lighting Designer
Tim Mascall

Sound Designer
George Dennis

Movement Director
Joe Wild

Casting Directors
Annie Rowe, Lucy Casson

Literal Translator
Ilona Kohanchuk


Michael Beckley
Emily Dobbs
Joseph Drake
Anthony Howell
Lily James
Julia St. John
Matthew Kelly
Ben Moor
Malcolm Tierney
Sasha Waddell


About the Director
Director Russell Bolam’s theatre credits include Shivered (Southwark Playhouse) which was nominated for 4 Off-West End Awards (Best Production, Best New Play, Best Actor and Best Director), The Road to Mecca (Arcola Theatre), The Roman Bath (Arcola Theatre), Captain Oates’ Left Sock (Finborough), Three More Sleepless Nights (Tristan Bates Theatre), Fourplay (Tristan Bates Theatre), Fairytaleheart (Old Red Lion) and The Physicists (Aphra Studio).

The Press on Russell Bolam’s production of Shivered

★★★★ The Independent
★★★★ The Telegraph
★★★★ Time Out
★★★★ Whatsonstage

‘Directed with clarity and flair by Russell Bolam’ The Stage
‘Russell Bolam’s beautifully acted and designed production’ The Independent

About the Playwright
Playwright Anya Reiss wrote her first play when she was 14 before becoming a member of the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers’ Programme. Her debut play, Spur of the Moment (written when she was 17) opened at the Royal Court Theatre in 2010 winning the TMA Award for Best New Play and Anya the Most Promising Playwright Award at both the Evening Standard Awards and at the Critics’ Circle Awards. Her second play The Acid Test opened in 2011 again at the Royal Court was also a box office sellout earning rave reviews. Since then she has contributed to the Bush Theatre’s Sixty Six Books writing a response to a chapter of the St James Bible and has written Forty Five Minutes for the National Theatre’s 2013 Connections Festival