Enjoy tea on the high seas with the three sisters, on the voyage Chekhov never let them take.
Will they ever get to where they want to be? Will it be the same as they remembered? Was it ever what they remembered?
Join Metra Theatre on this insane aquatic misadventure, coming again soon to a canal near you...
Directed by Tanya Roberts.
Carolyn Booth (Manchester, Secret Garden Party, Oxford, London)
Francesca Hyde (London, Bath, Wales, Edinburgh)
Photography by Harry Sewell
Set design by Chris Hugall
Skye Crawford's review of Metra Theatre's '3 Sisters':
Metra Theatre Company was formed by graduating performing arts students at London Metropolitan University in 2005 during their performance at the annual International Shakespeare Festival in Gdansk, Poland. Their most recent production is an excellent ‘take you away to another place’ version of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. They are an innovative group whose mission involves reviving ‘dormant texts and making them accessible to modern theatre audiences’.
Their imaginative, expressive, unusual and indeed original take on The Three Sisters is inspiring and sets the company up for a bright future in the thriving world of concept/promenade theatre. Picture it, a dark rainy evening in London. The six audience members have been given instructions by Olga, Masha and Irina themselves to meet under the twinkling weeping willow in the West Yard of Camden Lock where we will be greeted by a pleasant figure who responds to the title of ‘captain’. As we wait to be escorted we unfortunately have to employ the services of a telephone as myself and my fellow shipmates are lost and can’t find our captain.
Finally, lead by the captain we make our way away from the bustling crowds down a dark path along the canal, lit only by a lamp guiding our way. 5 or so minutes later we are greeted by an enthusiastic Olga and are invited as her guests onto their house boat, The Misadventure, from which is coming a rather alarming amount of incessant crying! And so we embark on an hour long adventure where we are not only privy to an insight into Irina, Masha and Olga as an audience has never seen them before, but we are also engaged by the original storyline which flickers in and out throughout the piece.
Metra employ surprising theatrical concepts including a hilarious sketch of shadow puppetry from outside the boat through a window. Asking for only a donation is a lovely concept, however the production is worthy of a proper ticketed fee. The intimacy of only 6 audience members is an unique and fascinating experience, however with more publicity, word of mouth and more quality work being produced by Metra this, and their other productions have great potential to be developed into more commercially viable theatre. Producing work for bigger audiences as a successful fringe theatre company without compromising the excellent product they currently showcase will be tricky, but with their innovation and originality it can be done.
Francesca Hyde, Josephine Rogers, and Jessica Stanley embody the three sisters as you have never seen them before, alive and contemporary they jump out of the four square walls of text Chekhov gave them and give the characters warmth, vulnerability and new life. They gave us Chekhov without the boring bits, plus tea and biscuits along the way in an unusual and very exciting theatre space. This is a production not to be forgotten in a hurry and it has imprinted Metra Theatre firmly on this fringe theatre reviewer’s mind.
Reviewed by Skye Crawford 25th November 2008