Recreating Chekhov

Two of Anton Chekhov’s plays come to life, courtesy Love Hate Love with Chekhov. Presented by Orange Reason and staged on May 24 in the city, director Sumedh Sarojini speaks about the efforts in producing an English play…

It’s time you go for an interesting experiment in English theatre in Pune and we have just the suggestion. Orange Reason, a new production house, is bringing to you Love Hate Love with Chekhov. This one hour 30 minutes English play is directed by Sumedh Sarojini and stars him, along with Angad Patwardhan, Gauri K and Pooja Kshatriya. Sumedh Sarojini speaks about the efforts to stage an English play in a city like Pune and more.
Sumedh, a theatre practitioner from college days in Pune, was always involved in the total process of his plays, right from getting a good script to even shooting videos for it. “I later got into an e-learning firm as a career option to pay for the things. Later, I lost in touch with theatre. I also made some short films independently with friends and family providing input. Some of these films even got selected for festivals and even won accolades. But I wanted to get into theatre for a long time.”
Legendary Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov is the guy at the moment to focus your eyes on, as Sumedh has taken two of his plays to stage together. Chekhov is a writer close to his heart. He says, “There were couple of his plays that I wanted to work on, during my college days. But I found the time to stage it now. The first play is called The Bear and the second is The Proposal. Though they were written in 1883, they are yet very relevant. These farcical plays have so many possibilities which are the best thing about his plays. We wanted to write this play in the French style of Vaudeville but we have tried to be different. Every situation is plausible.”
Sumedh continues his praise for Chekhov by adding that the writer can write the most important thing in a simple manner. “There are no metaphors or constructions. He just talks of simple people, their joys and tragedies. You fall in love with him as you are affected by his writings. Though all the stories are about Russia, they are beautiful and relatable. He has the literary expertise of depicting everything.” While the actors are professionals, they have their own careers going on like Sumedh. He honestly states that surviving on theatre is not possible in these days.
The question of English theatre in the city comes forth and Sumedh sees a good presence of Marathi theatre with good actors and groups. “The English theatre scenario is fading away. There was a time when English theatre was on a high and the scene was quite good. But slowly, certain things went wrong. It had a surviving problem and things faded away.” The workshops and subsequent shows to show talent, according to him, are not something great.
Under such situation, Sumedh had just one thought – why start a play on a new serious subject? “We decided to start with a known name and a light subject. It has an entertainment value but is not slapstick comedy. It will give an experience to remember.” He plans to invite everyone involved with theatre in the city to watch the play and share their views.
With a start like Love Hate Love with Chekhov, our hopes of seeing good English plays in the city have risen. Sumedh will plan his next dramatic move based on the response for this show. “We have put in our money into making it. We will be trying to do more shows and take it to Mumbai and Bangalore. We will also stage a few more Chekhov plays.” We surely love this effort.
Watch Love Hate Love with Chekhov on May 24th at Nehru Memorial Hall, Ambedkar Road at 9.30. Tickets available on or call 9960666652 or 9890560131.