‘Seagull’ cast lacks cohesion

Athenians who love Chekhov have plenty of productions to choose from this season, though not a wide variety of plays. Whether by coincidence or design, at least three companies have chosen to stage «The Seagull.» This Sunday is the last chance to see the Neos Cosmos Theater’s production of «The Seagull.» A brisk production, it indulges in none of the languorous pauses favored by the Moscow Arts Theater. The Neos Cosmos troupe is never less than professional and their performances are always worth watching, yet this production somehow fails to gel. Oddly for a seasoned cast used to working together, each actor seems to be playing in a slightly different production from the others. There are two possible explanations. Some of the actors have carried over into this production elements of strong parts they have acted in other plays. Angeliki Dimitrakopoulou is a case in point. Superb as Nadia in Mark Ravenhill’s «Explicit Polaroids,» Dimitrakopoulou has brought along too much of that streetwise baggage. Her snuff-sniffing Masha owes more to London 2000-something than to provincial Russia, 1890-something. Can the lack of a cohesive overall vision, of which the disparate styles are but a symptom, be due to director Vangelis Theodoropoulos’s decision to play the part of character Trigorin himself? Did his concentration on his role distract his usually accurate directorial eye? Whatever the cause, some of his choices are questionable. Marissa Triantaphyllidou plays Nina as such an ingenue that her later transformation is scarcely believable; while Thanos Samaras’s interpretation of Konstantin as little more than a spoilt brat defuses the dramatic tension.