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Anton Chekhov
Translated by Tom Stoppard
Date Published
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Only a year ago, the landowner Nikolai Ivanov was full of energy and optimism, in love with his wife and working hard. Now, for no reason he can understand, Ivanov is overcome with inertia and self-disgust. His wife is dying and he feels nothing. He is drowning in debt and despair, and he does nothing. Is it him? Is it Russia? And is the possibility of happiness with the young woman who loves him just a cruel illusion?

Ivanov was the 27-year-old Chekhov’s shot at despatching the ‘superfluous man’ of Russian literature, and in surrounding him with a brilliantly drawn set of provincial types he created some of the best comedy he was ever to write.
Ivanov in this version was first presented by the Donmar Warehouse at the Wyndham’s Theatre, London, on 12 September 2008.


Anton Chekhov, Russian dramatist and short-story writer, was born in 1860, the son of a grocer and the grandson of a serf. After graduating in medicine from Moscow University in 1884, he began to make his name in the theatre with the one-act comedies The Bear, The Proposal and The Wedding. His earliest full-length plays, Ivanov (1887) and The Wood…

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