Mark Ravenhill writing in The Guardian,
Monday October 27 2008
Although the image is carefully posed, in the manner of late 19th-century photography, it manages to convey the nervous excitement in the room. Chekhov was a celebrated short-story writer, but the first production of The Seagull, produced by another company, had been very badly received. So there's everything at stake for him in the moment he's caught by the lens. Will his play be consigned to the remainder bin of drama, or will his bold break away from the era's melodrama be vindicated? The actors of the newly formed company know, too, that this is an important moment. The reading could reveal an authentic new Russian voice that will justify their new theatre and working methods. Or they could be saddled for months performing another play that doesn't quite work.