In Hungarian “Kretakor” has the meaning of a “chalk circle”. The name refers to Brecht’s famous play “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” but its real inspiration comes from the ancient fable: when we designate a circle in space, in which we condense a piece of our existence, its truth will come out. Gradually “Kretakor” has become a permanent company with a steady repertoire and it has gained fame of one of the best theatres not only in Hungary, but also in Europe. “Kretakor”’s “The Seagull” is one of the most moving and popular for the last years staging on Chekhov’s play. It has won prestigeous national awards and has attracted the attention of many international theatre festivals. Without the help of props and theatre effects, in their everyday clothes, the actors touch in most sincere and delicate way Chekhov characters’ inner world.
We wished to show it as a story of today about today’s people. At the end, we came up to a form that is reduced to minimum, with nothing but a few actors: people who live, love, play roles, lie to themselves and let others lie to them, who strive for happiness, love, success – and nothing but inevitable failure awaits them… The theatre of Chekhov – as we got convinced during the work – is still alive and valid, and it is as hard to revolt against it as to find veritably “new forms”.
Several things make Arpad Shilling’s production into something unlike any Chekhov production you have seen. In first place it is completely contemporary without being self-consciously “updated” (…). This almost anti-theatre approach throws off all the play’s accreted reverence and brings it triumphantly to life…
Robert Dawson Scott, “The Times”\