Andrew Upton adapted Chekhov’s first play (variously known as Platonov, Wild Honey, Fatherlessness and The Disinherited) into a new work – The Present – and the show premiered at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in 2015 starring Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh, playing to almost 45,000 people.
The production was so popular that the run sold out, and it was confirmed in January 2016 that the show would be heading to the Great White Way for a limited engagement with Blanchett and Roxburgh making their Broadway debuts as Anna Petrovna and Platonov.
Today, it was confirmed that the entire original Australian cast will open the production on Broadway at the Barrymore Theatre and play a limited season from 8 January – 19 March.
Thirteen wonderful Australian artists will tour with the production and begin previews on December 17.
Anna Bamford (Maria), Cate Blanchett (Anna), Andrew Buchanan (Osip), David Downer (Yegor), Eamon Farren (Kirill), Martin Jacobs (Alexei), Brandon McClelland (Dimitri), Jacqueline McKenzie (Sophia), Marshall Napier (Ivan), Susan Prior (Sasha), Richard Roxburgh (Platonov), Chris Ryan (Sergei) and Toby Schmitz (Nikolai).
In her review, AussieTheatre’s Bec Caton praised the entire cast for “successfully [meeting] the challenge of portraying their complex and multifaceted characters.”
Andrew Upton’s adaptation is set post-Perestroika in the mid-1990s at an old country house where friends gather to celebrate the birthday of the independent but compromised widow Anna Petrovna. At the centre is the acerbic and witty Platonov with his wife, his former students and friends and their partners. They may appear comfortable, but boiling away inside is a mess of unfinished, unresolved relationships, fueled by twenty years of denial, regret and thwarted desire.
The Present is produced on Broadway by Stuart Thompson and Sydney Theatre Company.