We went to Malvern Theatre's production of "An Evening with Chekhov's Short Comedies". The four one-act plays were The Proposal, A Tragic Role, The Bear and The Anniversary.
The performances were, I thought, a little on the patchy side. On the whole, the standard wasn't too bad, but just a couple of the roles weren't up to the quite high standards we've come to expect of this admittedly suburban group. But unfortunately, I don't think everyone in the audience appreciated Chekhov. In spite of the title, Chekhov doesn't have you "rolling-on-the-floor" with laughter. His comedies are rather quirky, based as they are on Russian life in the late 19th century. In the Director's Notes, it's stated that, "...even now, we in the West simply don't understand Russia and the Russians".
He goes on to ask, so what then of Russia of the late 1880s, when the majority of Russians, "lived lives cut off from Moscow, and even each other, by endless distances, featureless snow covered steppes and long dark winters"?
This certainly seemed to be borne out by these plays.
The Malvern Theatre itself is a pleasant venue, and it's not too far away. And there's free sherry beforehand and cake and coffee at interval!