I TAKE YOUR HAND IN MINE...
WRITTEN BY: Carol Rocamora
DIRECTED BY: Dmitry Zhukovsky
CAST: Richard Sheridan Willis, Rena Polley
PRESENTED BY: The Chekhov Collective
in association with Theatrus
For information on this production click here
I take your hand in mine ... is a play suggested by the love letters of Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper and traces the passionate relationship between the world famous dramatist and Russia's leading actress.
The six year correspondence spans the birth of the Moscow Art Theatre and the production of Chekhov's four major plays. Embedded into the everyday are gems of theatre history and insights into Chekhov's creative process, as well as a real-life drama that is as tempestuous, teasing and spontaneous as any Chekhov play.
We just returned from Washington where I Take Your Hand in Mine ... played to rave reviews!
"This play ... is exceptional. Go see it. You'll fall gloriously in love. " Maryland Theatre Guide
"Short of seeing a major Chekhov play, this is a good way get close to the beloved Russian playwright." Broadway World
"Could there be anything more sublime than experiencing mastery and passion of committed artists sharing their love and understanding of Chekhov, unfiltered by gimmicks or production dazzle?" DC Theatre Scene
"A matchless, hypnotic portrait of love ... a treasure trove of power-sharing between two actors that led me to lean way forward in my seat. As I looked around, I was not the only one." DC Metro
"Two-hander about Chekhov's relationship with Olga Knipper captures the spirit of the Russian master..." Now
"…I found them mesmerizing, these two!... both of them humourous and playful to the end in the face of adversity ... 'I take your hand in mine' is a must see for Chekhov enthusiasts.” Mooney on Theatre
"Judging from the audience’s ecstatic welcome on opening night, it’s clear that many fans have been eagerly awaiting the play’s return. Director Zhukovsky has eliminated the need for costuming, instead keeping us completely involved in the characters rather than the 'period'. It's so sensible an approach that one doesn't even take notice until midway into the play." Scene Changes
"Together we fall in love with them ... we are within the tragicomedy human spirit, the spirit so much requested and desired by Chekhov." Russian Week
"I Take Your Hand in Mine… is a play that has a strange resonance to it, of sadness and a larger joy. Like fine wine, it’s a drama to savour." Burke Campbell, indie critic
"This was a beautiful piece of theatre. The storytelling was captivating from start to finish, both through the careful stitching together of these lovers' words and their flowing delivery by two very talented actors. Well done." Christine Hotz
"I have only superlatives for yesterday afternoon's performance. This deeply moving experience will remain with me for a long time.” Irene U.
"I saw the play on Sunday. It was outstanding..first the 2 actors were brilliant as was the dialogue between them...interesting and crisp and highlighting important events ..for 90 minutes you held everybody's attention..." Sunil Chhabra
"What a beautifully directed and performed play! Superb acting, moving and alive. Would not have expected love letters to be translated into such a dynamic play!" Iryna Victoria
"Richard Sheridan Willis and Rena Polley skillfully and effortlessly painted love story filled with the pain of separation and the delight of their short reunions. Rena, as Olga Knipper is torn between the love of her life Anton Chekhov and the passion of her life theatre. She desperately needs to be by his side, but burns with a desire to succeed as an actress. Overfilled with emotions, spilling them into letters and into her play she is a wonderful embodiment of the female spirit. Richard takes our hands and walks us through the lonely, but full of love life of Anton Chekhov. Sadness and tender love, sense of humor and constant battle with health problems fuel his heart and mind and result in the birth of masterpieces. Wonderful production, absolutely loved it! Arta Kogan
"What a captivating play! ...The director and actors did an exceptional job of distilling and integrating their subjects’ correspondence into the life and times of the day, to weave their story into a coherent and entertaining narrative. I highly recommend this play – I wept through the entire last year of Chekov as he succumbed to his illness with the support and love of Olga at his side. It is a truly exceptional effort by both the actors, Richard Sheridan Willis and Rena Polley, and the director, Dmitry Zhukovsky." Lyudmila Bezpala-Brown
"An impressive performance ... The epistolary form is very difficult to stage. I was amazed by the accomplished drama presented on the stage. Strongly recommended!" Irena Nikolova
"Just saw your beautiful play! Enjoyed it so much! Great acting, too!" Ela Lapinski
"This is one of the best pieces of Theatre I have seen. Masterfully acted, written and directed. This is a must see show!" Laura Nienhuis
"Attention Toronto - go see I Take Your Hand in Mine at the Tarragon Theatre - I went to the opening on Thursday and it is just terrific. A glorious 2-hander. Don't miss it!" Marilla Wex
"The play is deftly woven, masterfully and delicately directed, with a mostly bare stage, and performed with the seamless, seemingly easy, depth and breadth that is the hallmark of skilled actors. The lens of humanity's heart is universal and timeless. Straight up: This Is Good Theatre. Go See It." Jennifer Cornish
"I stopped going to theatre a couple of decades ago. Too much shouting, or electronics, or both. You have re-kindled my interest!" Mark McAllister
"Thoroughly enjoyed the play. Great script, directing and acting. Thank you for this unexpected gem." Rudi Vezer
"Everything about it was astounding: the play itself, where human love and love for the theatre brilliantly intertwine, the very simple staging, and the first rate performances by the two actors. Not only were they good individually, but they managed to create this magical chemistry between them. This was theatre at his best." Régine Bohar
"Enjoyed the show immensely.The performances of both actors were excellent and the staging just right. I'll be back!! " Jim Ryder
"The play was highly recommended to me by a friend. Generally, that raises my expectations & sets me up for disappointment. I was, instead, very much entertained by the quality of the dialogue & the performance of the actors. They were simple, straightforward & sincere." M. Mian
"An outstanding performance, beyond all expectations!!! The non-verbal communication as powerful as the dialogue..... Hope to see more of such superb acting / directing / above all, playwright." Maria Meehan
NICE THINGS AUDIENCES WROTE
Listen about us on CBC Radio, The Sunday Edition
interviews with the playwright Carol Rocamora, director Dmitry Zhukovsky and actors Richard Sheridan Willis and Rena Polley.
© 2014 The Chekhov Collective