Singapore Arts Festival 2006 - Samovar



Arts Festival 2006


~ One Season. Many Faces ~


1 – 25 June 06




Samovar – Check Out Chekov


Schauspielhaus Vienna (Austria)


(Asian Premiere)



Date & Time: 3 & 4 June, 8pm

                        4 June, 3pm

Venue:            Esplanade Theatre Studio

Tickets:           $35

Duration:        60 minutes (no intermission)



Supported by the Austrian Embassy Jakarta


Accomodation by Allson Hotel


Post-show dialogue with performers Marcel Keller, Anja Sebanz and videographer Airan Berg on 3 June


Comics, videography and narration are all it takes to bring still pictures to life at the Festival’s Asian premiere of Samovar – Check Out Chekov by Schauspielhaus Vienna.


The first in a series of ‘live animation’ theatre to be presented this year, this production features characters from Anton Chekov’s four major plays  – The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya and The Seagull.  Feted as one of Russia’s greatest dramatists, Chekov was not only a prolific playwright but is considered one of the masters of the modern short story.


Though frequently revived in modern productions, this particular production is unique in that the main characters from each of the four plays will come alive before audiences’ eyes. They are penciled onto the fast changing pages of a sketch book, as still pictures are transformed into moving characters. Live cameras animate an installation of a miniature model of a Russian country home which provides the three-dimensional background for the action. Audiences will get to see not only the action as it unfolds on screen, but also the live drawing of the characters.


This visually stunning mise-en-scène is accompanied by readings from Chekov’s original text in its original language, keeping its authenticity while creating a poetic backdrop to the experience. English translation of the Russian text will appear as faint objects overlapping the images.


A samovar tea set always figures prominently in the Chekovian universe. His plays often revolve around the ritual of having tea in times of despair. Like a traditional Russian tea gathering where people enjoy a leisurely talk while drinking tea from a samovar, the characters in the production drink tea and mingle.


Audiences will also be treated to Russian tea brewed in a samovar after the show!


A post-show dialogue with performers Marcel Keller, Anja Sebanz and videographer Airan Berg will be held on 3 June.


Please refer to the attached annexes for more information:


  • Synopsis 
  • Performers’ Profile
  • Credit List
  • Profile of Schauspielhaus Vienna