Review Round Up: The Seagull, Lyric Hammersmith

Anton Chekhov’s play is brought to life once again in a new version by Simon Stephens directed by Sean Holmes. Here is what critics have been saying about it so far….


The Guardian: **** “The indefatigable Simon Stephens – definitely the same as Heisenberg’s author – has written an incisive 21st-century version of Chekhov. Sean Holmes, artistic director of the Lyric, has given it a vivid production.”

WhatsOnStage:**** “The cast is uniformly good, but Paul Higgins stands out as the sarcastic but ultimately deeply sensible and humane doctor. Lesley Sharp makes for a gleefully ghastly Irina, the ageing, insecure actress who crushes her son Konstantin’s artistic dreams.”

The Telegraph: ** “We don’t feel the (Russian) past brought alive – nor, despite the laudable diversity of casting, do we much feel the present on our pulse either.”

London ***** “The Seagull soars high at the Lyric Hammersmith, with Simon Stephens’ haunting adaptation breathing new life into Anton Chekhov’s text.”

Time Out: **** ” this is a ‘Seagull’ that really spreads its wings, gaining power and stature until it’s almost overwhelming. It feels explicitly interpretated as a play about art and obsession, but that doesn’t make it cerebral and bookish, but mountingly nerve-wracking and intense.”

British ***** “A rare production that has both style and substance, Stephens and Chekhov have made a winning match.”

Broadway World: **** “Chekhov’s gorgeous masterpiece is given a dynamic reinvention by the Olivier Award-winning Simon Stephens at Lyric Hammersmith.”

Evening Standard:*** “A potentially ‘dusty’ classic has thus been refreshed and rebooted for a younger generation and there’s absolutely no harm in that, even if the play has lost something of its ineffable majesty en route. But maybe that’s the point.”

The Upcoming: *** “Despite some uneven acting, The Seagull manages to strike the balance between humour, warmth and poignancy.”

British Theatre Guide: “An over-familiar play has been re-energised, thankfully not traduced, the attention to detail is comically tuned, and the big set soliloquies ably done.”

Essential Surrey: *** “This Lyric production is worth catching, but one comes away with the sense that it could have been so much better.”

Mature Times: “Sean Holmes, artistic director of the Lyric, Hammersmith, is using a new version by Simon Stephens which sets The Seagull firmly in the 20th century and in so doing takes the Chekhov out of Chekhov as it were.”

The Seagull continues to play at the Lyric Hammersmith until the 4th November. For more information and to book tickets visit:



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