The Present Tickets
This contemporary retelling of Chekhov’s Platonov, featuring Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett and written by her husband Andrew Upton, is a playful but intense comedy that wowed audiences and critics in Sydney, Australia and now transfers to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway.
Anna Petrovna (Blanchet) is a strong but troubled widow, whose 40th birthday party in her lavish country house soon becomes a vodka-fuelled nightmare as passions and grievances bubble to the surface, resulting in frayed nerves and strained friendships. At the heart of the conflict is the roguishly charming womaniser, Mikael Platonov (Richard Roxburgh), with whom Blanchett’s Anna shares a passionate but combustible relationship.
The chemistry between long-time collaborators Blanchett (who has won two Oscars for her performances in The Aviator and Blue Jasmine) and Roxburgh (whose Sydney Theatre Company credits include Waiting for Godot and Cyrano de Bergerac) is the driving force of the play. Director John Crowley (who received a Tony nomination for The Pillowman) assertively directs this rollercoaster of tension, emotion and dark humour.
The Present is a bold and refreshing re-telling of one of Chekhov’s most challenging plays. The masterful balance of humour and intensity, paired with the opportunity to witness Cate Blanchett’s Broadway debut, is an experience not to be missed.