Lung Ha’s Chekhov Shorts set for Traverse
Romance with a Double Bass and The Two Volodyas from company working with actors with learning disabilities
While Lung Ha’s has long been known for producing groundbreaking work, the success of Huxley’s Lab, its CATS-winning co-production with Grid Iron earlier this year, may well have marked a watershed for the company, which works solely with actors with learning disabilities.
‘A company like Lung Ha’s can easily be marginalised,’ says artistic director Maria Oller. ‘It’s easy to keep it within the disability community, but I think it’s important to open up to society and to get an audience to come and see the show for the show and not just to support a company with disabled actors.’
With that in mind, Oller wanted to move away from the company’s typical territory of devised pieces and into working on a classic text. Inspired by her own experiences as an actress, she delved into Chekhov’s short stories, and soon came across the adaptations written by American playwright Carol Rocamora.
The two pieces she selected, Romance with a Double Bass and The Two Volodyas, could not be more different – another feature of the production aimed at stretching the cast of four actors. The former is a farce involving a spot of sabotaged summertime skinny dipping, while the latter, set in the depths of the Russian winter, revolves around the troubled wife of an ageing colonel, searching for an answer to her questions about love and commitment in the bottom of a brandy glass.
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 28 Oct; Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 2 & Wed 3 Nov