On the night of February 1st, 2012, the Gateway theatre presented the worldwide premier of playwright Simon Johnston’s play “Sisters”. This work, an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s play by the same name, is characterized by an uneasy storyline that touches elements of cultural differences, social status, and political ideologies.
Set in the early 20th century, “Sisters” is the story of the ascent and decline of a Russian family living in China during the rise of communism, which shifts the social balance in unpredictable ways. The once-smooth life of sisters Irena (Luisa Jojic) and Masha (Sarah Louise Turner), as well as their service lady Anfisa (Donna White) slowly becomes more difficult as communism takes over their once aristocratic lives, which is also reflected at home in the relationship with Irena and Masha’s Chinese sister in law, Natasha. The overall political climate, as well as the tense situations developing at home, will take the sisters to new ways of thinking and facing day to day life.
The play is helped by an outstanding work in the special light effects and numerous props, which certainly provide the atmosphere to “feel” the evolving story. The set design is superb, as well as the simple, yet effective costumes used throughout the play. “Sisters” runs for about two hours plus an intermission.
“Sisters” is directed by Sarah Rodgers and presented from January 30 until February 16, 2013, at the Gateway Theatre (6500 Gilbert road, Richmond).