Track 3 @ Bedlam Theatre
Theatre Movement Bazaar, who brought the sell-out hit Anton’s Uncles to the Fringe in 2011, return to the world of Chekov with this dramatic and exhilarating take on Three Sisters that takes the original’s naturalist sensibilities and blows them out of the water.
While the sophisticated trio of the title sit around dreaming of a cosmopolitan life in Moscow and their older brother crumbles under the weight of their expectations, a group of soldiers come to town to disrupt the tedium of their lives.
This hugely inventive and physical production tosses aside the realism of the original, playing up the simplest of movements and having the characters spontaneously break into song, dance and even a stand-up routine at one point. Impeccably choreographed by director Tina Kronis, there is barely a moment to catch one’s breath as the plot moves thick and fast. The cast fluidly move across the stage, nailing punch-lines in a deliberately overtly theatrical manner, doing marvellous things with set changes and using the props in ingenious ways. The shuffling of some tables and chairs should not be as inventive and hilarious as it is here.
Despite the change in method, the adaptation is a surprisingly faithful one and there are still moments of pathos as the three sisters’ hopes of escaping their hopeless boredom disappear before their eyes. The sense of claustrophobia is ever present throughout, even when the cast are bouncing across the stage energetically.
Bedlam Theatre’s solid streak of Fringe success continues with Track 3, a riotous example of physical theatre at its finest. It’s probably not the most faithful adaptation of Chekov for a theatregoer’s introduction to the playwright but it’s definitely the most fun.