Playwright: Anton Chekhov
Direction: Fred Abrahamse
Costume Design: Marcel Meyer
Photography: Fiona MacPherson
Cast: Bianca Flanders & Marcel Meyer
Venues & Dates: Various during COVID-19 Lockdown
About: The closure of theatres world-wide, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, has left a great gap in the cultural life of cities across the planet. Although streaming and online platforms have attempted to fill this void – nothing can replace the immediacy of live theatre, where actors and audience are in the same space, sharing a visceral moment in time.
As it might be quite some time before theatres can function at full capacity again, Abrahamse and Meyer set out to create a unique brand of “order in” theatre for the COVID-19 age. The concept of “order in” theatre is as simple as ordering a Mr. Delivery meal. Abrahamse & Meyer Productions will bring live theatre into the sanitized safety of patrons’ homes. This affords patrons to get the full experience of live theatre without the stress and strain of going into a public space where large groups of people are gathered. This ‘order in theatre’ can take place in a living room, dining room, on the porch or even in the garden.
Abrahamse & Meyer have built up an international reputation for presenting immersive theatre in non-traditional theatre spaces. Their series of annual Tennessee Williams “Hotel Plays” at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands have become a must-see event playing to sold-out audiences.
In keeping with the company’s manifesto of presenting world-class classic theatre, Abrahamse & Meyer will be launching their brand of “order in” theatre with a new production of Anton Chekhov’s hilarious 1888 one-act comedy The Bear.
Anton Chekhov is regarded as one of the world’s greatest dramatist and is best known for his haunting plays like The Seagull, Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard. Although Chekhov if famous for his moody, melancholic full-length dramas, he always maintained that all his plays were in fact comedies.
Chekhov’s superb comic genius is on full display in The Bear. This compact one-act vaudeville is a tour-de-force for two actors who play a pair of larger-than-life characters engaged in an hilarious battle of the sexes.
The Bear is directed by multi-award-winning veteran, Fred Abrahamse and stars Bianca Flanders as the long-suffering, young widow, Elena Ivanovna Popova with Marcel Meyer as her nemesis, the desperate, bankrupt landowner, Grigori Stipanovich Smirnov.